The Italian court that found Amanda Knox guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher (the second time) explained today that they believe Knox committed the crime because of a personal fight, not due to a group sex game gone wrong, as previously argued.
In 2007, Kercher was found in a pool of blood in the apartment she shared with Knox. An Italian court found Knox, her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and another man, Rudy Hermann Guede, guilty of killing Kercher. She spent four years in an Italian prison on a guilty verdict before she was acquitted by a second trial in 2011. That acquittal was turned over in 2013, and led to the second guilty verdict in January. Guede's sentence was never overturned, and he remains in jail.
Knox was in the U.S. when she learned that she was again found guilty, and has said that she does not plan to willingly return to Italy. Sollecito, who was also found guilty in January, was in Italy at the time and was arrested by police in February.
The hefty court document revealed that the verdict was overturned thanks, in part, to testimony given by Guede in prison. The Associated Press reports:
The court said there was ample evidence of a bad relationship between the two roommates, despite Knox's attempts to play down differences in court, and cited statements by Guede under police questioning that Kercher had blamed Knox for taking money from the British student's room.
The paper also attributed the second conviction to new analysis of Kercher's wounds, which show that she was likely attacked by more than one person. Again, the AP explains:
It is a matter of fact that at a certain point in the evening events accelerated; the English girl was attacked by Amanda Marie Knox, by Raffaele Sollecito, who was backing up his girlfriend, and by Rudy Hermann Guede, and constrained within her own room," the document said. The court said it was not necessary for all of the assailants to have the same motive, and that the murder was not attributable to a sex game gone awry, as it was out of Kercher's character to have ever consented to such activity.
Now that the document has been publicized, Sollecito and Knox will have the opportunity to appeal the verdict, a process which could take around a year. If Knox's appeal is rejected, she could be extradited to Italy. If that happens, she faces 28.5 years in jail.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.