The judges of the first Court of Assisi they sentenced to life imprisonment Finnegan Lee Elder e Gabriel Natale Hjorth, the two twenty-year-old Americans charged with complicity in the murder of the deputy brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega, killed with eleven stab wounds the night of July 26, 2019 a few steps from Piazza Cavour, central area of the capital. Waiting for the verdict, in addition to the family members of the Arma soldier, also his wife Rosa Maria Exile. The woman, weeping with emotion, hugged her family and the lawyer Franco Coppi he said: “He will never die again.” The decision of the Court, chaired by Marina Finiti, comes later over 13 hours in council chamber: the two defendants were also sentenced to daytime solitary confinement for a period of two months.
The woman followed the various stages of the process, carried out in over 50 hearings, in which experts were heard, witnesses and the defendants themselves. A judicial process in forced stages, hearings also took place during the first lockdown, in which it was in fact “dissected” from every point of view the dramatic night two years ago. A story born after the two Americans, in looking for drugs in Trastevere, they had the backpack stolen of the facilitator of the pusher Sergio Brugiatelli. From that episode the “negotiation” for the return of the bag was born, culminating in the 11 stab wounds inflicted by Elder to Cerciello, who had intervened with his colleague Andrea Varriale to retrieve it.
“A severe sentence but corresponding to atrocious crime that was committed. It is a penalty adequate to the gravity of the fact for the two accused, they did not give any segno of repentance“, The attorney’s comment Franco Coppi, lawyer for the deputy brigadier’s family. Instead, he speaks of “a sentence unfair and incomprehensible ”instead the lawyer who defends Gabriel Natale Hjorth.
The Rome prosecutor had asked for life imprisonment for the two defendants. In the indictment of last March 6, the representative of the prosecution, Maria Sabina Calabretta, affirmed that this affair is characterized by “serious facts” and “serious it is injustice which was committed against a good man, who was working ”. During the indictment, the magistrate reconstructed, in detail, what happened that night in July two years ago. “Everyone tells us that Cerciello and Andrea Varriale (on patrol that night with the deputy brigadier ed) – pointed out the prosecutor – when they meet Brugiatelli they behave in professional way and not confidential. We can exclude a previous acquaintance with him “.
The prosecutor then told of the “escape”Of the two Americans in the hotel, in the Prati area, where were staying since few days. And he rebuilt the phone calls intervened between them and Brugiatelli to organize the return mobile phone and backpack. The two also carried out a sort of patrol of via Gioacchino Belli, the area where the meeting should have taken place, also verifying the presence of video cameras. “It was not self defense, they both went to the meeting getting ready, they were ready for everything. They didn’t care about the victim’s health, they are run away and they have hidden away the knife ”, the prosecutor said in the courtroom. Reconstructing the phases of the dispute, the representative of the prosecution explained that “the carabinieri they qualified, they showed the card and were on duty: they approached from the front, not from behind. Cerciello was not killed with one stab but with eleven fewer slashes thirty seconds. The victim did not have the time to elaborate any active defense “and in any case” he could have little even if he had been armed and he was not “.