Rome police stab: Italian court granted retrial to Finn Elder, Bay Area’s Gabriel Natale-Hjorth for murder of officer


Wednesday, March 15, 2023 11:33 p.m.

Rome police stab: Italian court granted retrial to Finn Elder, Bay Area's Gabriel Natale-Hjorth for murder of officer

This Saturday, March 3, 2021, a shared image shows Finnegan Elder, 21, of San Francisco, and Gabriel Natale Hjorth, 20, of Marin County.

KGO TV

ROME (KGO) — Italy’s highest court has granted a new trial to two Bay Area men for the 2019 murder of the Italian policeman.

Lawyers for 23-year-old Finnegan Elder and 21-year-old Gabriel Natale Hjorth have argued that a key witness lied when he said plainclothes police identified themselves before the fatal altercation.

Elder is currently serving a 24-year prison sentence in Rome, Natale Hjorth is serving a 22-year sentence. .

This is a last minute update. Previous story below

Finn Elder, 23, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 21, of the Bay Area are appealing convictions for the murder of a police officer in July 2019. Arguments are now over in Italy’s Court of Cassation, their highest jurisdiction.

RELATED: Appeal hearings begin for 2 Bay Area students convicted of murdering Italian officer

Both families told ABC7 News’ I-Team that the five judges seemed open to arguments that a key witness lied when he said undercover officers identified themselves and showed badges. Elder and Natale Hjorth testified that they believed the men were associates of a drug dealer who took their money.

Deliberations could drag on late into the night, with a decision coming today or tomorrow. Elder is serving a 24-year prison sentence in Rome, Natale-Hjorth 22 years. The final decision is expected tonight or tomorrow.

RELATED: Rome Police Stabbing: Step-by-Step Account of What Happened in Italian Officer’s Death Allegedly by Bay Area’s Finnegan Elder and Gabe Natale

This is the video from this morning in Rome. We can see Leah and Ethan Elder arriving with their lawyer, then in dark glasses, the widow of the officer, Rosa Maria Esilio.

The I-Team’s Dan Noyes has covered the case extensively and you can watch his Emmy-winning documentary “32 Seconds: A Deadly Night in Rome” here.

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If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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