The Italian judges that reinstated Amanda Knox’s guilty verdict over the death of Meredith Kercher in January have said that she delivered the fatal blow when the incident took place. In an attempt to explain their overruling of a previous decision for a second time, the appeals court in Florence stated that the majority of evidence points towards multiple aggressors including Knox herself, boyfriend of the time Raffaele Sollecito, and Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede. Both Knox and Sollecito are planning another appeal, whilst Guede is already serving 16 years in prison for his part in the murder.
Initially thought to have been a sex game that went wrong, Kercher’s death on November 1, 2007 has been one of the most publicised murder cases in recent memory, and interest in this event doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon after the Italian court’s reasoning behind its most recent conviction. According to judges, Knox and Kercher argued over money on the night in question and the quarrel soon turned violent, with Knox and Sollecito wielding knives as an apparent threat as Guede sexually assaulted the victim. Presiding judge Alessandro Nencini then concludes that Amanda Knox “delivered the only mortal blow” with a kitchen knife, but Knox said herself in a statement on Tuesday that such reasoning was “not supported by any credible evidence or logic.”
With Rudy Guede already serving a 30-year prison sentence for the crime, the first trial of Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito began on January 16, 2009, after which both were convicted and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. Weeks later, Guede’s sentence was reduced to 16 years on appeal, and Knox and Sollecito began to prepare an appeal of their own. On October 3, 2011, the first verdict was overturned and Knox and Sollecito were released, with the former returning to her home in Seattle, US. Two years later, a prosecution appeal was granted, and Knox and Sollecito were found guilty for the second time, this time sentenced to 28 1/2 and 25 years respectively. With Italian judges going so far as to describe how Amanda Knox delivered the fatal blow, it would appear as though they are confident a correct ruling has finally been made the third time around.
Knox watched court proceedings from her home in the US, whilst Sollecito was present in the courtroom for the majority of the trial. Before the verdict was read however, he removed himself from the building to be with his girlfriend. Sollecito was next found by police in a hotel close to the Austrian border, apparently attempting to flee the country. The man himself denies this, saying that he had planned to take a trip but only if he was acquitted in the trial. Currently, both Knox and Sollecito remain free before they make their final appeal to the Supreme Court, but if the verdict is upheld, they will be sent to prison to serve their punishment in just under a year’s time. Being in the US, Knox plans to fight a return to Italy despite a valid extradition treaty between the two countries.
As details begin to emerge regarding the ins and outs of what happened to Meredith Kercher nearly seven years ago, including the fact that Amanda Knox delivered the fatal blow according to Italian judges, it looks as though herself and Raffaele Sollecito are going to find it harder and harder to prove their innocence before the Supreme Court rules in a few months’ time.
Opinion by Zachary John C