Amanda Knox to Become a Fugitive if Convicted of 2007 Murder in Italy

| by Jared Keever

The American college student Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito are, once again, awaiting news of their fate from an Italian court. Knox and Sollecito have faced numerous trials for the brutal 2007 murder of Knox’s then roommate, British exchange student Meredith Kercher.

Kercher’s body was found partially naked in a pool of blood having been stabbed over 40  times. The body was found in the house the victim shared with Knox in the Italian town of Perugia. Authorities alleged at the time that the murder was the result of a violent sex game gone wrong.  

Originally convicted of the murder, Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in a 2011 appeal. They were released from custody, having spent four years behind bars. The Court of Cassation — Italy’s supreme court — threw out that appeal claiming some evidence had been ignored.

The supreme court then formed a special court to hear the case again. That court convened in Florence in September. The process is wrapping up this week and a verdict is expected later Thursday. 

Knox’s attorney, Dalla Vedova remained confident as he awaited the verdict.

"The knowledge about Amanda’s innocence is rock-solid and it allows us to wait for the verdict with complete serenity,” he said. “It is impossible for the court to convict someone because they are 'probably' guilty or 'may be' guilty."

If convicted Knox and her attorneys can once again appeal to the Court of Cassation. She would be facing a possible 26 year prison term for the murder. A conviction would also bring up extradition questions in the case of Knox who returned to her hometown of Seattle after the successful 2011 appeal.

"I will become ... a fugitive," she told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. She also told the paper she is afraid to return to Italy. Sollecito has been in court during the current trial.

Knox has always maintained her innocence. She asked her lawyer to read a lengthy statement to the court in December. In it she said, "I must repeat to you. I'm innocent. I did not rape, I did not steal ... I did not kill Meredith.”

Sources: CNN, USA TodayThe Guardian