In a story eerily reminiscent of the Amanda Knox case, Reid Alexander Schepis has been charged with the attempted murder of Fabio Malpeso.
Officials say foreign exchange student Schepis, 20, stabbed his sleeping friend Malpeso, 19, after a long night of partying at the Rome club Atlantic.
Stabbed him 25 times in an alcohol- and drug-fueled rage, allegedly.
Both men are from New Jersey, and students at John Cabot University, a private university in Rome.
Reid Alexander told investigators he experimented with drugs - specifically, ecstasy - for the first time the night of the incident, mixing it with booze.
He said he cannot remember what happened, but authorities say he walked into the room where Malpeso was sleeping and stabbed him repeatedly with a kitchen knife.
Vincenzo Comi, representing Schepis, said he was "profoundly upset" in the wake of the incident, and tearily apologized "for what he had done" when confronted.
"Fabio and Reid were the best of friends,” he said. “They were both in their second year of university but knew each other from before. Even their parents knew each other.”
Schepis remains under house arrest, authorities said. Malpeso remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit after doctors operated on damage to his lungs in the incident.
"He is obviously still under observation but he is awake and talking," Police Chief Lorenzo Suraci said. "He even asked about the situation and what is happening."
In an eerie twist, the stabbing occurred five years to the day British student Meredith Kercher was discovered stabbed to death in Perugia, Italy.
Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were initially convicted of the crime, but later acquitted and released after years of legal battles.