Italy court asked to free US teen held in officer’s killing

National/World
Lorenzo D'Aloia

Carabinieri Colonel Lorenzo D’Aloia shows a picture of the knife used to stab Carabinieri’s officer Mario Cerciello Rega, during a press conference in Rome, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Two American teenagers were jailed in Rome on Saturday as authorities investigate their alleged roles in the fatal stabbing of the Italian police officer on a street near their hotel. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

MILAN (AP) — A lawyer for an American teenager jailed in Rome in connection with the fatal stabbing of an Italian police officer has petitioned a court for his client’s release.

Attorney Renato Borzone on Monday confirmed he filed a request to get 19-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder out of Regina Coeli prison.

Another lawyer made a similar request last week on behalf of Elder’s friend, 18-year-old Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth.

The two Californians are being held while prosecutors probe the July 26 slaying of 35-year-old plainclothes officer Mario Cerciello Rega.

Prosecutors contend Elder stabbed Cerciello Rega during a scuffle while Natale-Hjorth allegedly punched and kicked the officer’s partner.

The Carabinieri officers were investigating an alleged extortion attempt involving the teens and a stolen knapsack.

It’s unclear when a court might hear the petitions to free the Americans.

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