Italian Court Says Amanda Knox Killed Roommate Over Argument
The Italian court that found Amanda Knox guilty of murder in January said Tuesday that she had killed her British roommate because of an argument, rather than during a sex game, and that she had wielded the knife.
Ms. Knox, an American who was a student at the time of the killing, spent four years in an Italian prison after a court found that she and her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, had murdered Ms. Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.
That conviction was overturned on appeal, and Ms. Knox returned to her home in Washington State in 2011. Both were found guilty again at a retrial.
Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito proclaim their innocence and are appealing again. Ms. Knox has said she will not return willingly to Italy to serve the rest of her more than 28-year sentence. A third defendant, Rudy Guede, tried separately, is serving a 16-year sentence for the murder.
In its explanation of the verdict, the court said it was not “credible that the four young people began a group sex activity that Meredith Kercher later suddenly no longer wanted to pursue further.” The statement came in a motivation document, commonly issued by Italian courts many weeks after a verdict. “This hypothesis is not compatible with the personality of the English girl,” the document said.
It said Ms. Kercher and Ms. Knox had an argument on an evening when Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito had taken drugs, which then escalated. Ms. Knox, Mr. Sollecito and Mr. Guede attacked Ms. Kercher together, the court said. Mr. Guede assaulted her to “satisfy his sexual instinct” while Mr. Sollecito and Ms. Knox participated “in a desire to abuse and humiliate the English girl,” it said. Ms. Kercher was killed so that she could not report the sexual assault, the court added.
In a statement, Ms. Knox maintained her innocence and said, “The recent motivation document does not — and cannot — change the fact that the forensic evidence still does not support my participation and the circumstantial evidence still remains unreliable and contrary to the conclusion of guilt.”