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

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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 Elder, left, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth sit in their hotel room in Rome in July 2019. (Credit: Italian Carabinieri/AP via CNN)

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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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