Trial of 2 San Francisco Teens for Slaying of Italian Police Officer to Start in February

In this combo photo released by Italian Carabinieri, Finnegan Lee Elder, left, and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth sit in their hotel room in Rome in July 2019. (Credit: Italian Carabinieri/AP via CNN)

In this combo photo released by Italian Carabinieri, Finnegan Lee Elder, left, and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth sit in their hotel room in Rome in July 2019. (Credit: Italian Carabinieri/AP via CNN)

The lawyer of one of the two American teenagers jailed in Rome over the slaying of a Carabinieri police office says their trial has been fast-tracked and will begin early next year.

Craig Peters, representing Finnegan Lee Elder, said Thursday that the first hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 26.

Earlier this week, prosecutors requested a swift trial, a so-called “immediate trial” procedure.

Elder and his friend Gabriel Natale-Hjorth — both from San Francisco — were jailed in July as authorities investigated their alleged roles in the fatal stabbing of Mario Cerciello Rega.

Italian prosecutors said Elder confessed to knifing the officer during a scuffle, while Natale-Hjorth allegedly assaulted the slain officer’s partner at the end of a chain of events sparked by a drugs deal that went wrong.

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