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Rome jury convicts 2 CA friends in slaying of police officer

Italy Police Slaying Trial
Posted at 4:46 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 19:46:21-04

ROME (AP) — A jury in Rome has convicted two Bay area friends 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 deliberated more than 12 hours before delivering the verdicts late Wednesday against 21-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder and 20-year-old Gabriel Natale.

The jury handed them Italy’s stiffest sentence.

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 read the verdict.

The slain officer’s widow broke down in tears.