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Amanda Knox 'Withholding Judgment' Of 2 American Teens Accused Of Killing Cop In Rome

Parallels have been drawn between the arrest of Americans Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, who were vacationing in Italy, and the infamous Amanda Knox case.

By Gina Tron
Amanda Knox Returns To Italy, Delivers Emotional Speech

Amanda Knox, the American woman who spent years in an Italian prison after being wrongly convicted killing her roommate, said she is going to withhold judgement on the two American teens accused of killing an Italian cop.

Finnegan Lee Elder, 19, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 18, both of California, recently made headlines this week after getting accused of stabbing officer Mario Cerciello Rega in Rome on Friday.

Rega was stabbed 11 times, USA Today reports. He and another plainclothes officer had allegedly approached the San Francisco teens in an attempt to recover a backpack they suspected the teens of stealing, according to the Associated Press.

The teens, who were vacationing in Italy, are also accused of attempted extortion. The pair are accused of trying to get both money and cocaine in return for returning a backpack they allegedly stole following a drug deal gone wrong.

During the teens’ interrogation, Hjorth was reportedly blindfolded by the Italian police, CNN reports. His arms appeared to be bound behind his back, as well. Rome's chief prosecutor has denounced the blindfolding as unacceptable, but said the rest of the legal process holds up.

Christian Natale Hjorth and Finnegan Lee Elder

“Many are asking me about this case,” Knox tweeted on Monday. “All I can say is: I'm withholding judgment. It should be tried in the court of law, not the court of public opinion. In any case, it's tragic.”

She said her heart goes out to the victim’s family.

Knox was infamously convicted in Italy of murdering her study abroad roommate Meredith Kercher, before ultimately being exonerated. She was the subject of salacious media coverage in Italy and around the world as her saga unfolded. In fact, she was once dubbed “Foxy Knoxy” during her ignominious time in the spotlight. She now hosts a podcast called “The Truth About True Crime" and a web series called “The Scarlet Letter Reports,” on which she chats with other women who have been sexualized by the media.

Several outlets have compared Knox’s case to the arrest of the teens.  The teens allegedly told interrogators that the two officers who approached them didn’t reveal that they were police, but the officers claimed that they showed the teens their badges.

Rega, 35, recently returned to work after going on a honeymoon with his newlywed wife.

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