Amanda Knox Acquitted of Murder
PERUGIA, Italy - American student Amanda Knox, who was convicted by an Italian court for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher, was acquitted today by an appeals court.
Her murder conviction in the 2007 slaying of her roommate Meredith Kercher was thrown out by the jury, and she was ordered immediately released from prison.
Knox collapsed in tears after the verdict was read out Monday.
Her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also found not guilty.
Knox and Sollecito had been convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher, who was stabbed to death in her bedroom. She was found in a pool of blood and covered by a duvet the following day.
Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, Sollecito to 25. Also convicted in separate proceedings was Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivorian man. They all denied wrongdoing.
Earlier Monday, as hundreds of reporters and cameras filled the underground, frescoed courtroom, Knox tearfully told the Italian appeals court she did not kill her British roommate, pleading for the court to free her so she can return to the United States after four years behind bars. The court began deliberations moments later.
Knox frequently paused for breath and fought back tears as she spoke in Italian to the six members of the jury and two judges in a packed courtroom, but managed to maintain her composure during the 10-minute address.
"I've lost a friend in the worst, most brutal, most inexplicable way possible," she said of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old Briton who shared an apartment with Knox when they were both students in Perugia. "I'm paying with my life for things that I didn't do."
"She had her bedroom next to mine, she was killed in our own apartment. If I had been there that night, I would be dead," Knox said. "But I was not there."
"I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal. I wasn't there. I wasn't there at the crime," Knox said.
Kerchers Urge Court to Weigh Evidence, Not Hype
PERUGIA, Italy (AP) -- The sister of slain British student
Meredith Kercher has urged the court to weigh the evidence against
Amanda Knox and not pay attention to the "media hype" surrounding
the high-profile case.
Stephanie Kercher spoke to reporters as the eight-member jury on
Monday deliberated the fate of Knox and co-defendant Raffaele
Sollecito, who are appealing their 2009 murder convictions.
Stephanie Kercher, her mother and her brother were in Perugia
for the verdict, expected later Monday. At a press conference,
Kercher said her sister "has been mostly forgotten" and that it
was difficult to keep her memory alive.
She said: "As long as they decide today based purely on the
information available to them and they don't look into the media
hype, I think justice will be found."
Knox Makes Final Plea
PERUGIA, Italy -- A tearful Amanda Knox has told an appeals court in Italy that accusations that she killed her British roommate are unfair and groundless.
Knox fought back tears as she addressed the court Monday, minutes before the jury went into deliberations to decide whether to uphold her murder conviction. A verdict is expected later in the day.
Knox said that she is "paying with my life for things I didn't do." She said she wants to go home and "back to my life."
Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher in 2009. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, Sollecito to 25. Also convicted in separate proceedings was Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivorian man.
They deny wrongdoing.