(ROME) — A U.S. student studying abroad has been arrested for attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his roommate 25 times after a drug-fueled night out in Rome on Halloween.
At an apartment around the corner from Rome’s famous Coliseum, 20-year-old Reid Alexander Schepis, a first-year student at John Cabot University, a private U.S. liberal arts college, allegedly stabbed his longtime friend Fabio Malpeso, 19. Schepis and Malpeso, friends from New Jersey, were partying late Halloween at a Rome night club.
Schepis told authorities he’d used drugs for the first time that night, mixing ecstasy and alcohol. He told police that he has no memory of what happened after the two headed to the apartment Malpeso shared with his sister to sleep off the wild night, and he allegedly went into his sleeping friend’s room at dawn and repeatedly stabbed him.
Malpeso’s sister and her boyfriend heard the screams and ran to help. Malpeso survived the stab wounds and is now recovering in a Rome hospital.
Former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garret says the evidence suggests drugs were a factor in the crime.
“The story on the surface certainly sounds like some sort of drug-induced, either psychosis or hallucination, or something, [for] this one student to stab this other student in excess of 25 times, as has been described,” he said. “That is somebody that is in a frenzy. That isn’t someone accidentally, or in a rage, [stabbing] someone.”
Schepis’ attorney Vincenzo Comi said his client is distraught.
“Every time that his friend was named, Reid became profoundly upset and cried while apologizing for what he had done,” he said.
The stabbing occurred five years to the day that British student Meredith Kercher was found brutally stabbed to death in the apartment she shared with Amanda Knox, the U.S. student studying in Perugia, Italy, who made headlines for years as she fought murder charges.
Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, had also allegedly been taking drugs the night of Kercher’s death, smoking marijuana. The two were accused and convicted of the killing in 2009, but the decision was overturned last October and both set free.
On Monday, Malpeso is still recovering in a hospital in Rome after having surgery for stab wounds to his lungs. Schepis is under house arrest at an undisclosed location.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN