Best Known For
Amanda Knox is best known for her conviction and acquittal in the murder of her roommate in Italy, Meredith Kercher. Knox's acquittal was overturned in 2013 and she was again convicted of murder in 2014.
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Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito were taken to the police station, and for five days, they were interrogated. Later, Knox would say that no interpreter was present. Though her mother urged her to flee the country, Knox chose to stay in Perugia, wanting to meet Meredith Kercher's family. Knox later said that she was bullied and beaten while in police custody.
Sollecito admitted that Knox could have left his apartment at night while he was sleeping. When detectives presented this to Knox as an accusation, she broke down. Knox signed a confession saying that she had returned to her apartment on the night of November 1, 2007, and had been standing in the next room while Lumumba stabbed Kercher to death.
On November 6, 2007, Italian police announced that Kercher's killers had been found, and Knox and Sollecito were arrested. Lumumba had an alibi—he was seen bartending at Le Chic on the night of the murder.
Two weeks later, a forensics lab reported the results of its examination of DNA evidence taken from the crime scene. The evidence didn't point to Knox or Sollecito—it pointed to someone else: Rudy Guede, a friend of the Italian men who lived in the apartment below Knox's and Kerchner's apartment. Guede had been accused of several burglaries, but didn't have any convictions on his record. He was immediately arrested in Germany, and admitted to being at the murder scene, but stated that he didn't kill Kercher. He also stated that Knox and Sollecito were not involved.
Rudy Guede opted for a fast-track trial. In October 2008, he was found guilty of the murder and sexual assault of Meredith Kercher, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Knox and Sollecito chose to have a full trial, and were tried together. The Perugian prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, painted a picture of Knox that shaped how the public saw her. He described a sex-crazed marijuana smoker who had dragged her boyfriend into a game of rough sex that ended in Kercher's murder—even calling Knox a "she-devil." On December 29, 2009, Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and Sollecito to 25 years.
Knox's family and many supporters, mostly American, protested the sentencing. With a beautiful young woman at its center, the case became an international sensation. Supporters criticized the Italian legal system, which they said had major flaws, and claimed Knox was discriminated against because she was American, and because she was an attractive young woman.
In April 2010, Knox's and Sollecito's lawyers filed appeals, contesting the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses. The appeal process began in December 2010. This time, forensic experts said that DNA used in the first trial was unreliable. In June 2011, the defense called a witness who testified that, in prison, Guede had said Knox and Sollecito were not involved in the murder.
Knox and Sollecito had support in their appeal from the Idaho Innocence project, a legal organization that uses DNA testing to prove the innocence of wrongly convicted people.
Watch the Lifetime Original Special documentary "Beyond the Headlines: The Amanda Knox Story" on myLifetime.com.
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