US teen lawyer drops call for release in officer slain case

ROME (AP) — The lawyer for one of two American teenagers being held in the slaying of an Italian police officer says he has dropped a request for his client to be released.

Finnegan Lee Elder’s lawyer, Renato Borzone, said in a statement Saturday that the defense still needs more time to get a full picture of what happened. He added that he is still working to clarify “key passages” in the investigation.

Elder and his friend, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth who is also in custody, were jailed in Rome in July as authorities investigate their alleged roles in the fatal stabbing of Italian police officer Mario Cerciello Rega. Italian prosecutors say Elder confessed knifing the officer during a scuffle.

A hearing on Natale-Hjorth’s petition for release will be held on Sept. 16.

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