On Monday in Perugia, Italy, an appeals court overturned the murder conviction of American student Amanda Knox and ordered her immediately released, reports CBS News.
Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of the 2007 murder of Knox’s British roommate Meredith Kercher, who was found sexually assaulted with her throat slit on the floor of her and Knox’s apartment. Ivorian man Rudy Guede was also convicted of the murder in a separate trial but denied any involvement. Knox, who has maintained her and Raffaele’s innocence throughout the entire ordeal, told the court this morning, “I’m paying with my life for things that I didn’t do.”
Members of the jury and press became emotional as later on in her statement, Knox openly wept and pled through tears, “I insist I’m innocent and that must be defended. I just want to go home, go back to my life.” Both Knox and Sollecito served nearly four years in an Italian prison, and each has been acquitted of the murder charge. Knox collapsed into tears after the verdict was read.
In Amanda’s home town of Seattle, about a dozen members of a group called Friends of Amanda gathered at a hotel to watch the coverage of the appeal on TV. As the verdict was announced, they burst into applause, chanting, “She’s free!” and “We did it!” The last statement made from the Kercher family came from Meredith’s sister Stephanie, who said her sister “has been most forgotten” in the midst of the media covering the popular trial.
Read more about the verdict here.