Two judges and six jurors in the Italian city of Perugia have a reached a verdict in the case of accused murderer Amanda Knox: guilty.
After nearly two years in jail, Knox, 22, was convicted on charges of masterminding the brutal murder of British roommate, Meredith Kercher, 21, in a sadistic sex game gone awry in 2007. Alleged to have acted with her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, Knox, a University of Washington student studying in Italy, was portrayed in the European press as an amoral, pot-smoking party girl – an “angel-faced killer,” in one headline.
In testimony at her 11-month trial, Kercher’s friends described what they considered Knox’s bizarre behavior when she was brought into the police station for questioning the day after the murder. Knox began doing cartwheels and handstands and snuggling with Sollecito. “We were all crying, and I didn’t see Amanda crying,” said Robyn Butterworth. “She and Raffaele were kissing and joking.”
But on the stand, Knox explained: “When I feel uneasy or nervous, I act a bit foolish.”
According to authorities, Knox gave conflicting statements about her whereabouts on the night of the murder. Yet the prosecution was not able to link her conclusively to the killing through DNA. In a separate trial in October, 2008, Rudy Guede, a 20-year-old drifter from the Ivory Coast in Africa, was convicted of Kercher’s murder and sentenced to 30 years.
Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison.