American teen’s lawyers drop bid for his release in Italy

Massimo Ferrandino, lawyer of the widow of police officer Mario Cerciello Rega speaks to reporters outside Rome’s courthouse, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. The lawyers for one of two American teenagers being held in the July slaying of the police officer have dropped a request for their client Gabriel Natale-Hjorth to be released, saying they need more time to study new evidence emerged from the investigation. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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ROME (AP) — The lawyers of one of two American teenagers being held in the slaying of an Italian police officer have dropped a request for their client to be released.

Lawyers for Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, who’s in custody for his alleged role in the fatal stabbing of Italian police officer Mario Cerciello Rega, said Monday they need time to study new evidence that emerged recently.

Lawyer Francesco Petrelli says “it was the only possible decision, as prosecutors told us there are new investigative activities ongoing.”

Natale-Hjorth and his friend, Finnegan Lee Elder, were jailed in Rome in July as investigators probe their alleged roles in Cerciello Rega’s death.

Prosecutors say Elder stabbed Cerciello Rega while Natale-Hjorth scuffled with the officer’s partner during a meeting organized by the teens to get money and cocaine in exchange for a backpack they had snatched.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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