Amanda Knox gives final appeal before court
Amanda Knox stood before an Italian court on Monday and vehemently maintained her innocence in regards to the murder of Meredith Kercher. In a tearful final statement, the 24-year-old American appealed to have her 2009 conviction overturned, allowing her to return to the United State for the first time in years, according to The Associated Press.
Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty in 2009 in Kercher's murder and sexual assault and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively. However, defense attorneys say that much of the DNA evidence used to link the two to her death was collected in a substandard manner.
"I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal. I wasn't there. I wasn't there at the crime," Knox told the court.
Knox and Kercher, a 21-year-old English college student, were roommates while the two were studying abroad in Italy. Kercher was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, and though Knox is believed to have been involved she claims she wasn't in the apartment that night.
The court will likely come to a decision Monday afternoon around 2 p.m., but not any earlier. Regardless of the decision, the ruling will put a close to one of the most salacious trials in recent memory. The foreign press has often characterized Knox as a sex-obsessed manipulator, though her supporters in the United States claim Italian courts are trying to make an example out of her.
According to the BBC, a large group of Knox supporters in her home town of Seattle have been holding a vigil ever since her emotional speech earlier on Monday, and area residents believe that if her conviction is upheld there will be a significant outcry from the U.S.