US youth testifies he stabbed Italian officer in defense

ROME (AP) — A young American on trial in Rome for the slaying of an Italian police officer has told the court he stabbed the victim because he feared he was being strangled. Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and a California friend, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20, are charged in the murder of a Carabinieri paramilitary officer on a street near their hotel where they were vacationing in Rome in July 2019. Elder told the court adjacent to their prison that Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello had his hands pressing on Elder’s neck. So, the defendant testified, he reached for his knife and stabbed Cerciello, whom he said he mistook for a thug, in self-defense.