ROME (AP) — The pandemic was just bearing down on Italy when the trial began of two young San Francisco Bay Area men, charged with the murder of Italian police officer near their Rome hotel while they were on vacation in 2019. On Wednesday, after more than 14 months, defense lawyers will wrap up their arguments, and the two defendants, former schoolmates from California, can expect to learn their fates later in the week. READ MORE: California Sen. Padilla Proposes Vast Expansion Of Federally-Protected Public Lands In Fight Against Climate Change Finnegan Lee Elder, now 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, now 20, insisted they acted in self-defense. They say they thought they were being attacked by a pair of thugs or mafiosi when Carabiniere Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega and fellow officer Andrea Varriale approached them in the wee hours of July 26, 2019. The officers, in plainclothes, had been dispatched to follow up on a report of a small-scale extortion attempt, allegedly … [Read more...] about Vacationing Bay Area Schoolmates Await Fate In Rome Slaying Of Italian Police Officer
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ROME (AP) — A jury convicted two San Francisco Bay Area friends Wednesday in the 2019 slaying of a police officer in a tragic unraveling of a small time drug deal gone bad, sentencing them to the maximum life in prison. The jury of two judges and six civilians deliberated more than 12 hours before delivering the verdicts against Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale Hjorth, 20, handing them Italy’s stiffest sentence. READ MORE: Project Home: Federal Court Strikes Down CDC Eviction Moratorium; What Does It Mean For Bay Area Renters? Elder and Natale-Hjorth were found guilty of all charges: homicide, attempted extortion, assault, resisting a public official and carrying an attack-style knife without just cause. There was a gasp in the Rome courtroom as the presiding judge, Marina Finiti, read the verdict. Prosecutors alleged that Elder stabbed Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega 11 times with a knife that he brought with him on his trip to Europe from California and that … [Read more...] about UPDATE: Vacationing Bay Area Schoolmates Convicted In Slaying Of Italian Police Officer; Sentenced To Life In Prison
ROME - A jury in Rome on Wednesday convicted two American friends in the 2019 slaying of a police officer in a tragic unraveling of a small-time drug deal gone bad, sentencing them to life in prison. The jury deliberated more than 12 hours before delivering the verdicts against Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20, handing them Italy's stiffest sentence. Elder and Natale-Hjorth were indicted on charges of homicide, attempted extortion, assault, resisting a public official and carrying an attack-style knife without just cause. They were found guilty of all counts. The slain officer's widow, who held a photo of her dead husband while waiting for the verdict, sobbed and hugged his brother, Paolo. The defendants were led immediately out of the courtroom after the verdicts had been read. As Elder was being walked out, his father, Ethan Elder, called out, "Finnegan, I love you." Prosecutors alleged that Elder stabbed Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega 11 times … [Read more...] about Rome Jury Convicts 2 US Youths in Slaying of Police Officer
Ahead of Sunday’s 93rd Academy Awards, Associated Press Film Writers Jake Coyle and Lindsey Bahr share their predictions for a ceremony that is forging on in the midst of the pandemic. BEST PICTURE The Nominees: “The Father” “Judas and the Black Messiah” “Mank” “Minari” “Nomadland” “Promising Young Woman” “Sound of Metal” “The Trial of the Chicago 7” COYLE: A contemplative character study made for $5 million and populated by non-professional actors, Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” is not your typical Oscar heavyweight. And yet it’s overwhelming the favorite, a roundly acclaimed movie from an exciting auteur that has already ruled at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and, most crucially, the producers and directors’ guilds. The weirdness of this unending pandemic awards season adds a drop of uncertainty to everything. But as much as I’d like to see “Sound of Metal,”“Promising Young Woman” or “Minari” sneak in for an upset, “Nomadland” is a near-lock, and an eminently … [Read more...] about Oscars 2021 predictions: Who will win in every major category at this year’s Academy Awards?