The trial, which opened in May of last year, originally saw homeless man Massimo Galioto accused of manslaughter for allegedly pushing American college student Beau Solomon into the river after a violent argument, causing him to drown.

Solomon was in Rome for a five-week course at John Cabot University and disappeared at around 1:00 am on July 1, after drinking with fellow students in a Trastevere pub.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison student’s body was found in the river on July 4.

Prior to his death, Solomon was allegedly robbed and assaulted.

Investigators believe Solomon was robbed at the pub or along the street and then tried to follow the thieves to get his wallet back.

More than $1700 was charged to his credit card after he disappeared.

The area along the river banks and under the bridges in the centre of Rome is not considered safe, especially at night.

Homeless man Galioto reportedly admitted having an argument with the student, during which Solomon allegedly slipped over the embankment edge into the water.

Galioto, who has a record for petty crime, then failed to raise an alarm and instead returned to his tent close to Ponte Garibaldi, prosecutors said.

Galioto denied the charges and said Solomon tripped and fell accidentally.

Galioto’s defense lawyer, Attorney Michele Vincelli said throughout the trial that his client was “very calm because he has a clear conscience”.

“He has his own sense of morality, even though one could think otherwise, because although he is a person who lives on the street, he has his principles,” Vincelli added.