Amanda Knox said today that she is “frightened and saddened” after being re-convicted in the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher when they were students in Italy in 2007.
A panel of judges and jurors set a sentence of 28 years and six months for Amanda Knox, who returned to the US after an earlier conviction was reversed.
The jury also convicted her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, sentencing him to 25 years in jail and banned him from traveling.
“I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict,” Amanda Knox, 26, said in a written statement from her home in Seattle, where she returned after spending four years in prison.
“Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system.”
Now it’s unclear what will happen to Amanda Knox, who is certain to appeal – a process that could take a year or longer. Even if the high court confirms the new conviction, Italy still would have to seek her extradition.
Amanda Knox has vowed not to return.
Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers said they were stunned by the latest twist in a whiplash-inducing case that has made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic for six years.
“There isn’t a shred of proof,” attorney Luca Maori said.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were arrested after British student Meredith Kercher was found dead in their apartment in the university town of Perugia.
In 2011, an appeals court reheard the case and acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito after independent experts said crucial DNA evidence had been contaminated by police.
But in March, Italy’s highest court dismissed that acquittal – slamming the lower court for “contradictions and inconsistencies” in its decision – and ordered a new trial.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito say that only one person is responsible for Kercher’s death: small-time drug dealer Rudy Hermann Guede. The Ivory Coast-born man is serving 16 years in jail, but a court found that he did not commit the crime alone.
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