An American student who was on trial for killing an Italian policeman in a drug tragedy last year, apologized in tears on Wednesday, saying that he would never forgive himself.
20-year-old Finnegan Lee Elder read a statement in front of the Roman court. According to the Italian Press Agency at the hearing, he said in it on the evening of July 26, 2019 It was the "worst night of my life" and most media were unavailable due to coronavirus restrictions.
Senior man and friend Gabriel Natale (Gabriel Natale)-Hjorth was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
The prosecutor said that Mario Cerciello Rega and his partner were both wearing plain clothes while on vacation in Italy and contacted two American friends who had previously tried to buy drugs and that the latter was killed in an unprovoked night attack.
Elder admitted to stabbing police officer Mario Cerciello Rega several times with an 8-inch combat knife, but both he and Hjorth said they were jumping from behind by someone they believed to be a drug dealer.
"I want to apologize to the Cercelo family and his friends for being full of enthusiasm for everyone," Elder said to the court with tears.
"To the world. That night was the worst night of my life. If I could go back and change things, I would do it now, but I can't." He added.
"I want to say that that night was the worst night in America. He said: "My life is not because I was in prison, but because I was away from everyone.
"There are other reasons: I took a man's life, I took a husband from my wife, and I broke the bond between my brothers." I gave birth to a son from his mother.
– Sympathy and shock –
The death of Cercelo was the front page news last year because of the great sympathy for the police who had just returned to work. After his honeymoon. However, the photo of Natale-Hoyos being blindfolded and handcuffed inside the police station also caused widespread shock.
Natale Hoyos fought with Cercelo's partner in the attack. Even if he didn't stabbing Cerciello, according to Italian law, he still faces the same charge of "voluntary killing" and killed a police officer under special circumstances.
Elder and Natale-Hjorth from San Francisco were 19 and 18 years old respectively.
A chaotic incident triggered a 32-second attack. First, young Americans were looking for cocaine in the evening.
After the intermediary introduced them to the drug dealer who sold them, on the contrary, Aspirin stole the intermediary's bag with retaliation, and later demanded the money and drugs to be returned.
The dealer was actually an informant, and he reported the theft of the bag to the police. Cerciello and his partner Andrea Varriale left the designated patrol area before the attack and appeared at the designated exchange point near the youth hostel.
The defense lawyer tried to prove that the police made many mistakes on the night of the incident. The police report accused of falsehood was written by Varriale and detained from the defense that the drug dealer was a police informant.
They hope that these mistakes will make the young man’s claim that the police officer did not show his badge before the attack convincing. .
In July, Varriale testified that although Cerciello's badge was never found afterwards, two police officers approached the young man from the front and showed their badge.
Varriale said after the attack that when both officers had
Elder s said in a court confession: Many mistakes were made that night. Mine is the biggest.
"I want to go back and change things, but I can't." I can only say feel regret. I feel pain for the pain I caused. I am very sorry and sad about what happened in Cerciello. "