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.