US teen confesses to killing Italian policeman

Two American teenagers who were classmates at a California high school spent a second night in a Rome jail on Saturday, after they were interrogated by a magistrate in Rome. They had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of an Italian policeman.

Italian authorities identified the two as Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth, 18, and Finnegan Lee Elder, 19 , who were involved in a drug deal that went wrong.

In the detention order, Elder is described as repeatedly stabbing the 35-year-old officer,Cerciello Rega, who had just returned to duty a few days earlier from his honeymoon.

Investigators said Cerciello Rega, along with another Carabinieri officer, were both in plainclothes when they confronted the Americans in the wake of a drug deal gone wrong.

Officers found a large knife hidden in the false ceiling of their hotel room. Under Italian law, persons participating in a killing, but who didn’t actually carry out the slaying itself, risk being charged with murder. Like all European Union countries, Italy doesn’t have the death penalty.

Police said they were apparently vacationing in the Italian capital without family members.

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