Key events in Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's trials for Meredith Kercher's murder
Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murder in 2009 but freed on appeal in 2011
They were found guilty again in 2014; A court overturns the conviction the next year
British college student Meredith Kercher was found dead in November 2007, her throat slashed in an Italian villa she shared with American student Amanda Knox. Knox, her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and a drifter named Rudy Guede were tried for murder.
Here is a timeline of key events from the case:
November 2, 2007
Meredith Kercher is found dead in the house in Perugia, Italy, that she shared with Amanda Knox. Police say her body is partially clothed, with her throat cut.
November 5, 2007
Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are detained for questioning. Knox allegedly confesses to being at her home when Kercher was killed and implicates Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar where she worked. Lumumba also is detained.
November 20, 2007
Lumumba is released after two weeks in prison when his alibi is corroborated. He spent the night of the killing talking to a customer in his pub in Perugia, police say. He later sued Knox for libel, winning 40,000 euros ($54,000) in damages.
November 22, 2007
The text of a note Knox wrote on November 6, while in police custody, is published by CNN and other media outlets. Knox addresses an alleged confession, saying: “In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.”
After being caught without a train ticket in Germany, Rudy Guede, a drifter originally from the Ivory Coast, is extradited to Italy. A vaginal swab taken from Kercher matches DNA from Guede. Guede admits to police that he had sexual relations with Kercher but says another man killed her while he was in the bathroom.
July 11, 2008
Italian prosecutors formally charge Knox, Guede and Sollecito with murder.
September 6, 2008
Rudy Guede asks for a separate fast-track trial, fearing that Knox and Sollecito had formed a pact against him. His defense attorney says, “In recent weeks a lot of poison has been spread by the defense teams, and we feel the necessity to find some form of serenity in a separate hearing.”
October 28, 2008
Knox and Sollecito are indicted on murder charges. Guede is found guilty of murder in his fast-track trial and sentenced to 30 years. (The sentence is reduced to 16 years on appeal in December 2009.)
January 16, 2009
Knox and Sollecito’s murder trial begins. Reporters from all over the world attend, and some sit at the defense table because of limited space in the courtroom.
June 12, 2009
Knox testifies that during police interrogations she was confused and that interrogators pressured her, called her a “stupid liar” and hit her in the head. Officials have denied beating Knox. She also says some of her actions that made her look bad when described by the press were taken the wrong way. She adds that she was in shock after the murder, and that caused her strange behavior.
September 27, 2009
Final witnesses are heard in the trial.
December 4, 2009
The jury finds Knox and Sollecito guilty on all counts in the stabbing death of Kercher. Knox gets a 26-year sentence; Sollecito gets 25 years.
June 1, 2010
Knox appears briefly in Italian court to face slander charges for saying that Italian police beat her during an interrogation. She said police used the threat of physical violence to intimidate and pressure her, which led her to falsely accuse Lumumba of Kercher’s murder, but officials deny these allegations.
The case officially goes to trial in November.
November 24, 2010
Knox and Sollecito’s murder appeal process begins. The hearing lasts about 15 minutes before the judge adjourns until December 11 because one of the lawyers is not present. Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga tells reporters that rather than prosecutors having to prove she is guilty, “we have to prove her innocence, which is more difficult to do.”
December 11, 2010
Knox speaks for about 15 minutes and breaks down in tears. She says that she and Sollecito are innocent and unjustly accused. “I’ve been condemned for the crime I did not commit,” Knox says, adding that the court has made “a huge mistake.”