Amanda Knox Italian murder trial nears verdict
The murder trial of American student Amanda Knox, accused by Italian prosecutors of conspiring with her boyfriend to kill her roommate, is winding down in Perugia.
A fresh-faced young American student accused of stabbing her British roommate to death is just days away from learning whether she will walk free from an Italian court or spend the rest of her life behind bars. Her defense gave its final arguments today and a verdict in the nine-month trial could conclude with a verdict this week.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Seattle-born Amanda Knox is charged with murdering British undergraduate Meredith Kercher at the culmination of a violent sex game. There is, in fact, little evidence to support the sex-game theory, which the defense say is the product of the overactive imagination of chief prosecutor Guiliano Mignini.
With its cast of good-looking protagonists and beguiling setting – the crime took place in the walled medieval town of Perugia – the trial has received blanket coverage in Italy, Britain, and the Pacific Northwest.
A yawning gulf separates the cases put forward by the prosecution and the defense.
Prosecutors claim it is an open and shut case and have asked for life sentences for the University of Washington language student and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who is also accused of murder.
But Ms. Knox's family and supporters insist she is an innocent abroad who had nothing to do with the killing and that she has been subjected to an unwarranted character assassination in the two years since the murder took place.
Just about the only point not in dispute is that Ms. Kercher, a Leeds University student who, like Knox, had just embarked on an exchange study year at Perugia's University for Foreigners, was found dead around midday on Nov. 2, 2007. She had been stabbed in the throat with a knife. Her body was found partially covered by a duvet in her bedroom in the hillside cottage she shared with Knox and two Italian women.
Prosecutors say she was killed by Knox, in league with Mr. Sollecito, and another man, Rudy Guede, a young drifter who was born in the Ivory Coast but came to Italy as a child with his father, a construction worker.
They claim that Knox was tired of being criticized by her British roommate for not pulling her weight with the housecleaning and for bringing male friends back to their shared accommodation.