Italy - Finnegan Elder, 19 & Gabriel Hjorth, 18, US students arrested, police murder, 26 July 2019

Discussion in 'Trials' started by FrostOwl, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. FrostOwl

    FrostOwl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    1,489
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Two U.S. students have been arrested for the stabbing of the Carabinieri officer Mario Cerciello Rega early on Friday. The two men had stolen a bag from a man, and when the officer tried to arrest the thieves, he was stebbed. Police murders are rare in Italy. One of the arrested students, a 19-year-old, have confessed to the killing. US student reportedly confesses to killing police officer in central Rome
     


  2. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    3,846
    Trophy Points:
    113
    "The teenagers, identified as Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, 18, both born in San Francisco, were accused of stabbing the officer, Deputy Brig. Mario Cerciello Rega of Italy’s military police, or carabinieri, on Friday morning...

    A military police spokesman said the crime had unfolded after the two Americans approached an Italian man asking where they could buy drugs, and he indicated a seller nearby. The spokesman said the Americans bought drugs, but “according to what they say, they weren’t real drugs,” so they sought out the seller to get their money back.

    When they couldn’t find him, the spokesman said, they returned to the first Italian man and stole his backpack, which contained his cellphone. Later, when the man called his phone, the Americans demanded “100 euros and a gram of cocaine” for its return, the police said.

    They made an appointment to meet near the hotel where the two men were staying. The victim of the theft called the carabinieri, and two plainclothes officers went to the meeting in his place.

    A fight ensued, and Mr. Elder then stabbed Brigadier Cerciello Rega eight times, the police said."
    2 U.S. Teenagers Admit Killing Police Officer in Rome, Officials Say
     
  3. FrostOwl

    FrostOwl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    1,489
    Trophy Points:
    93
    If the teens were able to afford to stay at the Le Meridien Visconti hotel in Rome where the rooms cost from about £113 a night, why where they so desperate to get their money back that they took with them a large knife when going to exchange the bag they had stolen, for money and drugs? It doesn't look as if they (or rather, their parents) are from a background where they are short of money. They committed at least four crimes that night; buying drugs, stealing, extortion, murder, and possibly, carrying a knife in public. The fact that they had the knife with them, could it be considered as premeditated?
     
  4. FoolishHope

    FoolishHope Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    13
    I'm curious as to how good their Italian is, or if the police spoke English?

    Since they thought they were meeting a drug dealer they may not have believed or understood that it was actually two plainclothes officers.

    It's possible the officers tried to detain them, they panicked thinking these dealers are trying to abduct us and retaliated. A sort of self defence.

    I'm not sure how Italian law would view a a defence of "mistaken self defence"?
     
  5. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    3,846
    Trophy Points:
    113
    FoolishHope I had the same thought, but when it a member of the police you kill I think it is very unlikely the Italian judiciary will be sympathetic to these arguments.
     
  6. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    17,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Two Americans arrested in connection with the death of an Italian paramilitary officer had blamed each other for committing murder, court documents sent to reporters show.

    Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, 18, and Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, both from Mill Valley, California, were detained by police in Rome on Friday for alleged homicide and attempted extortion.

    [...]

    A detention order says Natale-Hjorth, who can understand Italian, confirmed that Rega identified himself as a Carabiniere officer. Elder, who doesn't speak the language, denies the officer revealed who he was.

    American teens arrested in murder of Italian accused each other
     
  7. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    17,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Via Google translate:
    __________________

    As for the hours before the murder, the two young men had arrived in Trastevere in search of drugs. Somehow they had hooked Sergio Brugiatelli near Piazza Mastai, who had acted as mediator to get to the pusher. Brugiatelli, to guarantee the success of the operation, had pawned his bag to the Americans. Arriving near the pusher Natale Hjorth (the one of the two who speaks Italian, the grandparents live in Fiumicino) went to bargain to buy cocaine. He paid 80 euros and the pushers gave him pulverized aspirin. During the exchange, however, they were surrounded by six other people and a scuffle was born. Before they realized they had been "swindled" the two Americans fled, taking Brugiatelli's bag with them.

    When the latter called them to get her back the two asked him 100 euros and a dose of cocaine. Appointment in Prati at 3 am for the exchange. Brugiatelli then called 112 and the soldiers showed up with him for the appointment. Once they arrived there, at 3 am, they met the two Americans and were attacked. Lee and Natale-Hjorth, then, ran away. They took refuge in the Le Meridien Visconti hotel, where the following morning they were found by the carabinieri. They had hidden the knife used in the ceiling.

    Carabiniere ucciso, il racconto di Lee: “Non era in divisa, l’ho scambiato per un pusher"
     
  8. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    17,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    [​IMG]
    They blindfolded him and handcuffed him immediately after taking him to the barracks on Via in Selci. Then someone decided to photograph it. It is a shocking image of Christian Gabriel Natale Hjort, the 18-year-old American accused of complicity in the murder of carabiniere Mario Cerciello Rega , taken shortly after his arrest. Remember the Guantanamo prisoners with the gray band to cover their eyes, their arms behind their backs, their wrists tightened by handcuffs. When it is shown to the commander general Giovanni Nistri dell'Arma, the reaction is immediate: "It is an unacceptable episode and as such must be treated". For this reason, it has the immediate internal investigation to report those responsible to the judiciary and subject them to disciplinary proceedings. Two hours later the name of the soldier is handed over to public prosecutors.

    Carabiniere ucciso, la foto di Gabriel Natale Hjorth bendato in caserma: l’Arma apre un’inchiesta

    (Google translate.)
     
  9. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    17,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Duplicate post.
     
  10. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    18,559
    Trophy Points:
    113
    People seeking hard drugs are going to be very upset if they blow their whole drug budget on ground up aspirin.

    What I find most curious is that two San Francisco kids thought it would easy or okay to try and buy any illegal drug in the EU. The carrying of a large knife is so flagrantly criminal. Of course it was premeditated and I bet the Italian authorities look at it exactly the same way.

    They're not short of money. And I'd bet quite a few US dollars that their parents funded this entire excursion.
     
  11. Gypsy Violin

    Gypsy Violin Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    146
    Trophy Points:
    33
    So what is this? These two go to Italy and go on a coke run and crime wave? They could have stayed in San Francisco and done that. They should have gone to the Beach on the Mediterranean Sea. Bought some of those fancy Italian sunglasses <modsnip - off topic> Oh to be Young again....! :cool:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2019
    mlw987m, Cortne, Al Ka and 4 others like this.
  12. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    18,559
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Probably the way most civilized legal systems do: force is appropriate only insofar as one escapes the thread. Castle doctrine is not universal and certainly not part of Italian law.

    Here's an article on Elder Lee:

    Finnegan Lee Elder: Who is the American student accused of fatally stabbing Italian officer Mario Cerciello Rega?

    Italy has the felony murder rule (so both of them can be charged for the knife attack).

    I also think making a big deal out of the blindfold incident is probably not going to help their case (moo). Here's an article with a high school picture of Elder:

    Italy: Calif. Teen Held in Rome Officer's Death 'Illegally Blindfolded'
     
    Hann, Medstudies, otto and 1 other person like this.
  13. Abundance

    Abundance Member

    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    18
    This picture is actually Finnegan Lee Elder.
     
  14. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    18,559
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I think these rich Mill Valley parents send their offspring overseas to get them away from their local drug contacts/drug milieu. Didn't work so well.
     
  15. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    3,846
    Trophy Points:
    113
  16. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    17,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
  17. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    3,846
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I find this incomprehensible. If I was involved in an illegal drug sale and got ripped off there is no way I would contact the authorities and complain about it--the risk of going to jail for participating in illegal drug transactions is a much more unpleasant prospect than losing the contents of my bag.

    The only explanation which comes to mind is that Sergio Brugiatelli is a police informant.
     
  18. Legally Bland

    Legally Bland Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,141
    Likes Received:
    17,435
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This version paints him a bit more innocently and could explain why he called the police.
    ________________

    A Carabinieri spokesman said both men had been looking to buy drugs in Rome’s Trastevere district about 2 a.m. Friday when they asked a bystander where they could find a dealer.

    “The man pointed them to a supplier, who reportedly sold them crushed medicine instead of cocaine,” he said.

    The Americans returned to find the dealer when they realized they had been defrauded, but only found the bystander.

    “Thinking he was an accomplice of the dealer, they stole his bag and returned to their hotel,” the spokesman said.

    The owner of the bag rang his phone, which was in the bag, and agreed to pay the Americans 100 euros and a gram of cocaine to get his bag back. But instead of going to the rendezvous about 100 yards from the hotel, he called the police, who sent two plainclothes officers.

    Italy detains two California teen tourists in fatal stabbing of police officer
     
  19. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

    Messages:
    1,692
    Likes Received:
    18,559
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Because, IME, one needs to be a native (whether in Rome or SF) to avoid consequences of buying hard drugs. Of course there are drugs everywhere, but two teens showing up in Trastevere and expecting it to all go well...well, that's a bad plan. I should add it's the same in LA or Waikiki. Vegas is a bit different.

    SF is pretty liberal, btw, and open drug use is very common (although these two did not live in SF, they surely have gone there a lot). So, they probably assumed it would be similar in Rome, which it isn't. I've never seen people shooting up in Rome, but I have seen it many many times in SF. In fact, I can't recall a recent trip to SF where I didn't see it.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised that two Mill Valley kids are complete knuckleheads (and, apparently, drug addicts, judging from what's been written about them on the internets).
     
    musicaljoke, Cortne, otto and 2 others like this.
  20. PastTense

    PastTense Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,910
    Likes Received:
    3,846
    Trophy Points:
    113
  21. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    33,188
    Likes Received:
    37,537
    Trophy Points:
    113
    What were they thinking! Trying to score cocaine, carrying a weapon, attacking a police officer? They should have read the Amanda Knox story before they went to Italy.
     
  22. Synergizer Bunny

    Synergizer Bunny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    2,605
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Not just Amanda Knox. I vaguely remember, back when I was a teenager, they ran commercials all of the time, warning Americans abroad not to break the (drug) laws because they would not have the protection of the American government overseas.

    Unfortunately, several young people learned the hard way and were thrown into horrible prisons for drug offenses.

    Heaven help these kids if they killed a cop in the process of trying to buy drugs. Yikes. I mean, who would be an idiot to try and buy drugs in a foreign country from strangers. That seems to be a disaster in the making. It seems like you would either be robbed, ripped off or end up dead from some kind of bad drug.

    I wouldn't even buy drugs in this country nowadays. People are dropping like flies from heroin being laced with fentanyl. I don't know if other drugs are laced with it, too. I wouldn't want to risk it, though.

    There's not much that their parents can do. Didn't Amanda Knox's parents just about go broke?
     
    Elainera, Cortne, otto and 2 others like this.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice