After Four Years in Italy, Amanda Knox Tearfully Grateful in Seattle
Amidst the press crush, friends, family, supporters and fans, an overwhelmed Amanda Knox spoke at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, giving thanks to everyone "who has believed in me, who has defended me, who has supported my family." Knox, paused a few times to gain control of her emotions before she spoke in English, something which she had to be reminded to do. After catching her breath, Knox echoed a sentiment she expressed in her moving address to the Italian appeals court moments before the 8 member jury left for eleven hours of deliberations which resulted in her vindication and the murder conviction being overturned.
"Being with family is the most important thing to me right now." Looking out over the welcoming crowd, she concluded with a grateful "Thank you for being there for me." (CNN.com)
Knox had been through two grueling trials which debated her innocence of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, her roommate who had been found sexually assaulted and stabbed to death lying in a pool of blood. In the first trial, Knox and former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of murder, sexual assault, possession of a weapon, interfering with a crime scene and theft (CNN.com) She was sentenced to 26 years in prison, he 25 years. An Ivorian, Rudy Guede was also convicted but tried in a separate trial. He is serving 16 years. In the second trial, the defense brought in an independent review panel who investigated the DNA blood evidence and concluded it was unreliable. This, the lack of credible motive and contradictory witness testimony helped to convince the jury of Knox and Sollecito's innocence.
Now, Giuliano Mignini who oversaw the failed prosecution has become guarded and defensive. The New York Daily News reports that the lead prosecutor has come under scrutiny for his "bizarre behavior that borders on criminal" observers stated during the appeals trial. He posed wild hypotheses about Knox and Sollecito's murder motives involving Satanic sects and conspiracy theories. The second time around, these didn't sit well with the jury and contributed to the prosecution's failure at delivering a credible motive.Continued on the next page