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Thread: Gentle innocent or brutal killer: Seattle student charged with murder in Italy

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Gentle innocent or brutal killer: Seattle student charged with murder in Italy

    Perugia Murder: What Defense Lawyers Are Planning | Newsweek International | Newsweek.com



    The Accused (from left): Knox, Sollecito and Guede

    The Many Faces of Amanda
    Seattle student Amanda Knox and two others have finally been charged with the Perugia murder of a British student. How their lawyers plan to defend them.


    Barbie Nadeau
    Newsweek Web Exclusive
    Updated: 6:40 PM ET Jul 14, 2008

    The nine-bloom yellow bouquet for Amanda Knox included a simple note. "Happy Birthday," it said. "I hope that justice prevails soon." The circumstances surrounding the gift, though, were anything but. Knox, a Seattle native who turned 21 on July 8, has spent the last nine months in Italy's Capanne prison. The flowers came from her former boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito. Knox and Sollecito enjoyed a passionate relationship before they were arrested in connection with the Perugia murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Just days after Kercher's body was found last November in the villa Knox shared with the victim, security camera footage showed the couple buying lingerie in a local store, with Knox giggling and telling Sollecito, "Afterwards I'm going to take you home so we can have wild sex together." But once the two were arrested, lawyers for both sides said they had broken up and each hinted the other was to blame for slitting Kercher's throat—reportedly during a session of extreme sex.
    Sollecito's birthday note to Knox suggests that they may not be as antagonistic toward each other as their lawyers suggest. It also underscores the complexities of the case against Knox who, together with Sollecito and 20-year-old Ivory Coast national Rudy Guede, were finally charged last week with Kercher's murder. The charges against the trio arise from a 10,469-page dossier compiled by lead investigator Guiliani Mignini. Mignini's dossier, of which NEWSWEEK has seen segments, sticks by the original hypothesis that the three suspects murdered Kercher after she refused to take part in a sex game. He believes that Knox and Sollecito helped Guede sexually assault the 21 year old. Investigators have told NEWSWEEK that there is evidence that Kercher had sex before she died, but the autopsy was inconclusive whether she was sexually assaulted. Mignini also implies that Knox made the fatal cut with a knife from her then boyfriend's knife collection, and that the three then stole Kercher's money and cell phones while she lay dying. Guede, whose sperm was found on and in her body, fled to Germany, where he was later arrested.
    If convicted, the three face severe sentences. The main charge, "voluntary murder with the aggravating circumstance of cruelty," carries a life sentence under Italian law. They were also charged with sexual assault, which carries a sentence of 6 to 12 years, and with theft—punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 6 years. In addition, Knox and Sollecito face charges for the "simulation of a crime", for which they face one to three years incarceration, and for the "detention and transportation of a weapon" which carries a sentence of 1 to 12 months. Additionally, Knox has been charged with slander for her allegedly false accusation against a nightclub owner called Patrick Lumumba—a crime that carries a sentence of 6 to 20 years.
    As the defense lawyers prepare to make their clients' cases, Knox remains a contradictory and enigmatic figure. Mignini's dossier presents her as a cold-blooded killer. Her lawyers have leaked prison diaries that portray her as a romantic who writes poetry and love stories and who learned to play guitar ballads during her incarceration. Many who know Knox believe she's incapable of committing such a crime. Her parents have lately said that her much-publicized nickname of Foxy Knoxy was given to her for her soccer moves in high school, not her sexual prowess. Her sister Deanna recently said that Amanda only lost her virginity at the age of 19 and Knox's mother says she had no boyfriend in Italy before Sollecito. But her family may not have known the real Amanda. Investigators say that at least two men they interviewed testified to having had sex with Knox the month she arrived in Italy. And by her own account in a prison diary leaked to the media, she details her sexual escapades with at least seven men she'd been with in her three months in Italy before her arrest. She even wrote that she might have HIV and then she uses a process of elimination to narrow down who might have given it to her. The diary is part of the collection of evidence and could be damaging to Knox in a court trial. Recently leaked segments of her continuing tome paint a disturbing picture of her state of mind. In one entry, she writes: "I think it's possible that Raffaelle went to Meredith's house, raped her, then killed her and then when he got home, while I was sleeping, he pressed my fingerprints n the knife." In another entry, she wonders if she would be getting so many letters from men if she weren't so pretty. "If I were ugly, would they be writing me wishing me encouragement? I don't think so," Knox writes. "Jeez, I'm not even that good looking. People are acting like I'm the prettiest thing since Helen of Troy."
    Shortly after her arrest, Knox admitted to being at the Perugian villa when Kercher was murdered. The confession was later thrown out of the body of evidence because of allegations of police brutality and coercion, but much of what she said in that original statement coincides with known elements of the case, including evidence gathered by CCTV footage from a nearby parking garage. Since recanting that statement, though, she has testified only that she was "very confused" about what happened. And in the days after the murder, numerous press accounts portrayed her as detached and uninterested in her roommate's brutal death, telling one reporter that she had been the one who found the body. Francesco Bruno, a criminologist who is studying this case and acts as an unpaid consultant for the Sollecito defense team, believes that the perception of Knox's role is complicated by her behavior both before and after the crime. On her Facebook and MySpace pages she wrote about rape and fantasy and posted pictures of herself in compromising positions, including one video where she appears drunk. "This is a murder committed out of fear," Bruno says. "Amanda is depicted as a black widow, she is seen as a dangerous and murderous woman who has caught all the members of the crime scene in her erotic coil."
    What's likely to happen next? Guede's attorney Walter Biscotti has indicated that his client will seek to separate himself from his co-defendants. Guede is the only suspect who has admitted to being in Kercher's bedroom the night she died. He also admits having consensual sex with her, but denies murdering her. His DNA is in her room, but not on the alleged murder weapon. Knox's DNA is on the weapon, but her attorneys will argue that other DNA on the blade is less than a 100 percent match to Kercher's—which Knox's attorney says it is not enough to convict his client. Because Knox lived in the house, her DNA in the dwelling will not prove guilt and because Sollecito was her boyfriend and spent time there, his DNA in the house proves nothing, says her lawyer. But Sollecito owns the knife in question and, in fact, it was confiscated from his apartment nearby. His DNA has also been found—on the back of the bloodied bra that was cut off Kercher's body. Sollecito's father offered the defense that perhaps the girls had traded bras, but investigators believe that it proves Sollecito's involvement. His defense team has asked for CCTV camera footage of the morning of November 2, presumably to prove their client's whereabouts.
    Now that charges are filed, Paolo Micheli, the judge for preliminary investigations in Perugia, will set the date of the first hearing. He will then have three months to order the criminal trial, which could take a year or more. Authorities in Perugia say that a preliminary hearing will likely be held in late September and a criminal trial could begin as early as October. Much of the crime scene has been compromised, but the defense still has a tough job ahead. To complicate things further, Sollecito and Knox's reported break up prompted speculation that they would testify against each other. But Sollecito's flowers may be a signal that their defense teams may actually work together to pin the blame on Guede. If that strategy succeeds, the cipher of Amanda Knox may never truly be decoded.

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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    This is going to be an interesting case.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I don't know what to think-I find it hard to believe she did this.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    From watching countless hours of A&E, Investigative Discovery, and Court TV, that women do some stupid ass shit for their man.

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    Hope they all rot.
    "Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I think she's as guilty as hell. All of them are.

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    So this is still going on? Fuck her.
    KILLING ME WON'T BRING BACK YOUR GOD DAMNED HONEY!!!!!!!!!!

    Come on, let's have lots of drinks.

    Fuck you all, I'm going viral.

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    Elite Member SweetPea's Avatar
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    If they did this they are sick and sadistic and I feel no pity for them.
    Into the sunrise. The sunset is sad to me….it only means the night is coming.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    There are a lot of things that point to her not being involved. I read a very good article awhile back in one of the UK papers. I'll try to find it. I think it's not cut and dried at all.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    This case has been so messed up, but from what I've read in the media she does appear to be guilty.

    And, now they have changed the trial date to Jan 09.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    But much of what you hear in the media has been fed to them by the prosecution. It's being tried in the press but the article I read refuted a lot of what is out there.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

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    Elite Member t13nif's Avatar
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    I watched some Investigative Reports or some other and came away feeling that they were innocent and being railroaded.
    "Hope everyone' shavin a good one!" - Karistiona

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    Amanda Knox guilty of Meredith Kercher murder

    • Flatmate found guilty after 11-month trial
    • Raffaele Sollecito also convicted of murder
    Amanda Knox was found guilty of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

    Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend were found guilty last night of the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher, who was stabbed to death two years ago.
    Knox, 22 and Raffaele Sollecito, 25, killed Kercher in an attack which ended with Sollecito taunting Kercher with one knife while Knox plunged another into her throat, the court heard during the trial.
    Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with a deep knife wound in the throat on the floor of her bedroom in the flat she shared with Knox and two young Italian women. She was a student at Leeds University and was spending a year at Perugia's university for foreigners when she was found murdered on 2 November 2007.
    Knox, who came into the courtroom weeping and shaking, appeared not to react immediately as the sentences were read out, but then broke down and buried herself in the shoulder of her senior lawyer, Luciano Ghirga. She was led from the court by police and her sobbing could be heard from the corridor that leads away from the vaulted underground court in which the trial has been heard.
    Her younger sister, Deanna, 20 wept. Sollecito, who had been less composed than his former girlfriend during the trial, sat rigidly, staring ahead as the colour drained from his face. His stepmother was seized by a panic attack and appeared to be hyperventilating.
    Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison while Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years. Knox was also found guilty of several other offences including criminal slander for pointing the finger of guilt at Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, 38, who ran a local bar. He later proved to have an alibi and was released after initially being arrested in connection with the murder.
    Knox's family left court in tears and fought their way through the dense crowd. Asked if he would fight on, Curt Knox, the American student's father, replied: "Hell, yes."
    Kercher's family's lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said they were satisfied with the verdict. He said: "They got the justice they were expecting. We got what we were hoping for."
    The verdict put an end, though perhaps only a temporary one, to a case that has baffled and divided amateur detectives on both sides of the Atlantic and turned a probing light on the Italian legal system. Knox, a student at the University of Washington, and her boyfriend were sent for trial despite the fact that a third person had been convicted of the killing before their indictment. Rudy Guede, a drifter born in the Ivory Coast, was sentenced to 30 years last year after a fast-track trial. He is appealing against his conviction.
    Last night's verdict will almost certainly prompt another appeal as Knox and Sollecito, a computer science graduate, try to establish their innocence in a higher court. They were caught up in the murder inquiry after investigators became suspicious of their behaviour in the hours and days following the discovery of Kercher's body.
    The two former lovers gave contradictory accounts of their movements on the night of the crime when, as they both acknowledged, they had been smoking cannabis. Amanda Knox then gave police a statement which she subsequently retracted, in which she said she had been at the flat when Kercher was murdered and had covered her ears to block out her screams. Her statement, at the end of an overnight without the assistance of either a lawyer or interpreter, interrogation was ruled inadmissible by Italy's highest court.
    But, by a quirk of the law, it was able to be cited repeatedly in court and even shown this week on a giant screen to the two professional and six lay judges trying the case. That was not the only unusual aspect of a trial during which the leading counsel for the prosecution, Giuliano Mignini, was being tried for abusing his powers in another case.
    Mignini, who initially suggested Kercher might have died in an occult rite, later argued that Knox had killed her because she had come to hate her British flatmate. The judges appeared to have accepted that explanation and the prosection's reconstruction of the killing, which also changed during the trial.
    This had Sollecito taunting Kercher with one knife while Knox plunged another into her throat. Mignini suggested it was culmination of a violent game forced on the British student in which she was sexually assaulted by Guede.
    The final days of the trial saw media sentiment in Italy shift in favour of the defendants as their lawyers kept up an offensive on the forensic evidence linking them to the crime.
    On Thursday, Knox and her former boyfriend both made emotional appeals to the judges to free them, but to no avail. The US student and the young Italian had spent more than two years in jail waiting to know their fate. Trials in Italy proceed at a leisurely pace of, at most, two hearings a week and this one took eight months.

    Amanda Knox guilty of Meredith Kercher murder | World news | The Guardian

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    Elite Member t13nif's Avatar
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    From what i have read about the evidence and theories, i believe there is much more than reasonable doubt. Never mind the questionable way the Italian legal system has handled the entire case.

    Personally, i believe they are innocent. What a horrible nightmare for them if that's the case.
    Last edited by t13nif; December 4th, 2009 at 08:35 PM. Reason: because i am clearly on crack and cannot form the simplest of sentences
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    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    I think she did it. Maybe I've read all the negative press, but she smacks of guilt to me.
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