OFFICER

Trial of Bay Area Teens for Rome Cop Slaying to Start in February

Prosecutors this week requested a swift trial, a so-called "immediate trial" procedure

In this file photo released by Italian Carabinieri, Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, right, and Finnegan Lee Elder, sit in their hotel room in Rome.
Italian Carabinieri via AP

The lawyer of one of the two American teenagers jailed in Rome over the slaying of a Carabinieri police officer 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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