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Lawyer: Vague theories and bias, but no evidence in Knox murder trial

From Hada Messia, CNN
Amanda Knox, accused of murdering her roommate, is escorted into the courtroom for closing arguments on Tuesday.
Amanda Knox, accused of murdering her roommate, is escorted into the courtroom for closing arguments on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Carlo della Vedova questions evidence in case, says Amanda Knox should be found not guilty
  • Prosecutors maintain Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede killed Meredith Kercher
  • Lawyer: "If you have the minimum of doubts, you must absolve this young girl"

Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- A defense lawyer for Amanda Knox -- accused in Italy of killing her roommate -- on Tuesday said the prosecution's theory doesn't fit the facts of the case and there is not sufficient evidence to find her guilty.

Calling Knox a victim herself, Carlo della Vedova portrayed the Seattle, Washington, native as someone who fell victim to a rush to judgment by police following the murder, and who had to fend off a myriad of false media reports regarding the crime.

Police declared "case closed" after an investigator saw Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito sharing a "flirtatious gesture" at the crime scene.

And in the months following the murder, della Vedova argued a slew of leaks to the media made things even worse.

The lawyer showed photos of the crime scene that were published in the media that weren't authentic -- including a photo of the bathroom -- and said false allegations and rumors about Knox's character created a bias from the get-go.

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Della Vedova also questioned the change in what prosecutor Giuliano Mignini's said was the motive for the murder.

In preliminary hearings he argued Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede slashed Kercher's throat during a sexual misadventure as the two men vied for Knox's attention. In recent days, della Vedova said Mignini focused more on what he says was a hatred between the two roommates.

Defense lawyers have staunchly disagreed, claiming the two girls were friends. They argued that Guede, who was convicted in a separate fast-track trial and is currently appealing his conviction, was the sole killer and argued there is no evidence that ties the three people together or shows proof they planned her murder.

Della Vedova also fixated during closings on the lack of evidence tying Knox to the crime scene.

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As defense lawyers have throughout the entire trial, he cast doubt on DNA evidence prosecutors claim shows Knox's DNA on the handle of the alleged murder weapon. The defense has claimed the knife doesn't match Kercher's wounds or an imprint of the knife left on a bed sheet. They also claimed the DNA sample is too small to attribute.

Besides the knife, della Vedova claimed if there really was a struggle or argument in Kercher's room, then Knox's DNA would be all over the room. Citing forensic testimony from the trial, he argued that while traces of DNA from other people were found in the room, not a single sample that can be traced back to Knox was found.

He stressed too, that Sollecito and Knox are not the kind of people they have been portrayed as, noting that the couple met at a classical music concert and aren't the typical "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll" couple they have been labeled.

During the first day of closings for Knox's lawyers, della Vedova stressed to the eight-member jury that they should also keep church law in mind as they decide whether to find Knox and Sollecito guilty or not guilty.

He told the jury they needed to be "morally certain of their decision."

"If you have the minimum of doubts, you must absolve this young girl," he said. "A girl that is merely 22 years old."

Knox and Sollecito, who both deny any role in the murder, have been jailed for more than two years since they were arrested on charges of murder and sexual violence. Prosecutors have asked they be sentenced to life in prison if they are found guilty.

Knox's other lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, will continue closings on Wednesday and the jury is expected to begin deliberations on Friday.

CNN's Mallory Simon contributed to this report.

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