A lawyer representing the homeless Italian man, Massimo Galioto, charged with pushing an American student to his death states that he is not guilty. Beau Solomon traveled to Rome on June 30 to participate in an exchange program to learn to speak Italian. He disappeared less than 24 hours after arriving in the country. Local police found his body in the Tiber River on Monday and have charged Galioto as he was reportedly seen arguing and fighting with Solomon shortly before his disappearance.
Solomon was last seen around 1:00 AM at “G Bar” in the Trastevere neighborhood, a popular spot for American students. He was not seen again until his body was pulled from the river with a head wound and a blood-stained shirt 2.5 miles south of his last known location. It was later revealed that there were also thousands of dollars of illicit charges on his credit cards. Approximately $1,700 was charged to Solomon’s cards at a store in Milan, a city more than 350 miles away.
Lawyer Michele Vinelli claims that her client and his three companions were sleeping on the banks of the river when they were awoken by Solomon. A heated argument followed during which Solomon somehow ended up in the water.
Galioto’s companion, Alessia Pennachioli, claims that Solomon was robbed by “Morrocans and Alegerians” on the Sisto bridge. Pennachioli claims that Solomon was visibly upset after being robbed and struck Galioto in frustration. According to Pennachioli Galioto defended himself from Solomon. Shortly after the fight Solomon accidentally fell into the river.
Pennachioli went on to say that Solomon attempted to swim back several times but was unsuccessful. She claims that the fast rapids and sharp rocks were what ultimately killed Solomon. As he was whisked away by the strong current.
Galioto told local police that Solomon was visibly drunk at the time of the altercation and tripped over an embankment as he was fleeing from Galioto. Police believe that Galioto is lying. A preliminary autopsy indicated that Solomon had suffered injuries consistent with a fall but was also severely beaten and kicked twice prior to plunging into the water.
Galioto has a record of petty crimes and is now being charged with “murder aggravated by futile motives.” The investigation is still ongoing. Police are watching surveillance camera footage, tracking the signal from Solomon’s cellphone and investigating the use of his credit card after it was stolen, according to CNN.