Since late July we've been following the coverage of the two Bay Area teenagers involved in the alleged slaying of 35-year-old Italian officer Cerciello Rega. Earlier Saturday morning, it was reported that the lawyer of one of the suspects, 19-year-old Tamalpais High graduate Finnegan Elder, has since stopped pushing for his release.
As reported by NBC Bay Area, Elder's lawyer in Italy, Renato Borzone, has now dropped the request for his client to be released, citing, too, that he’s still working to clarify “key passages” in the on-going investigation.
Elder's mother, Leah, said in a published statement by CNN, per the family’s attorney Craig Peters, Friday that "she has been grateful to have been able to see her son [in Rome over the past two days],” and also made it a point to “send her thoughts” to Cerciello Rega's family.
Since his July arrest, the family of the teen has been adamant that their son’s story and the “facts” surrounding his case have been “unfairly misrepresented”; the family's group statement also added that they “[hope] that the truth will come out soon, so that everyone involved can start the healing process.”
A key discrepancy between the police's version of events and the American suspects' version is that the suspects say the officers did not identify themselves and the two teens believed they were potentially violent drug dealers themselves. The other officer involved in the incident says that he and Rega both showed their badges to the
"Finn is trying to stay hopeful but has suffered from severe depression since the incident," the family said in that same statement. "While in prison he has seen the way the media has portrayed him and the circumstances of the case and it has been difficult to hear the facts unfairly misrepresented."
Elder's legal team said in a separate statement Friday — courtesy of the Associated Press — that "the boys' version" of what transpired that evening is gaining support, saying that their version is “the only [one] that makes sense.”
Elder and his friend, Gabriel Natale-Hjorth — who, according to prosecutors, wasn’t responsible for Rega’s stabbing, but only “scuffling” with the officer's partner during the encounter — is also still in custody. Ntale-Hjorth’s hearing is slotted for the 16th of this month.
Italian prosecutors have gone on record, multiple times, to say Elder confessed knifing the officer during rendezvous, which only adds to the difficulty in exonerating the young man.
Photo: Screenshot courtesy of OBC News, via YouTube