American student Amanda Knox freed in appeal of 2007 murder case
Former American college student Amanda Knox was freed after an Italian court determined she was not guilty in an appeal Monday of murdering her former roommate.
Knox and her former boyfriend Raphael Sollecito, 27, were cleared of an earlier conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher, a British student also studying in Perugia, Italy, in 2007.
âI did not do the things they say I did. I did not kill, rape or steal. I was not there,”Â Knox said in her final appeals statement to the court.
The case had garnered international attention from media outlets that were drawn to the prosecutionâs story of what happened to Kercher, who was 21 at the time of her death. Lawyers for the state argued that she had been killed in a sex game gone wrong, while Knox and Sollecito maintained that they were not present at the time of the murder.
In a separate trial, jurors had convicted a drug dealer named Rudy Guede for the murder on DNA evidence found at the murder site. Prosecuters claimed Knox, Sollecito and Guede had attempted to involve Kercher in an orgy but that Kercher had resisted.
Kercher and Sollecito were both immediately freed. Knox broke down in tears after the verdict was read.
“We are thankful that Amanda’s nightmare is over,â Knoxâs sister, Deanna, said in a statement afterward.
She thanked their lawyers as well.
âNot only did they defend her brilliantly, they also loved her,â she said.