Amanda Knox, an American student who gained international notoriety for a 2007 murder in Italy, was just happy to have her life back, she said Friday, after being finally acquitted.
The Italian Supreme Court has dismissed all charges against her and her then Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and overturned their conviction of murdering British student Meredith Kercher.
“I am grateful that I have my life back,” said Knox outside her home in Seattle, where she has lived, adding, “Right now I am still absorbing what all this means.”
Prosecutors of university town Perugia in Italy had charged Knox, then an exchange student, of murdering roommate Kercher with the help of her boyfriend and another man. Knox and Sollecito were arrested and convicted after a trial followed the world over for the lurid details of sex, love-triangle, jealousy and drugs that emerged.
Another man, Rudy Guede, a Perugia man, was convicted of murder in the same case. Knox and Sollecito maintained that the murder was committed by him alone.
Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 after four years in prison. And the American returned home — to Seattle to her family, her parents divorced when she was two. But a superior court in Italy overturned their acquittal in 2013. Knox stayed back in Seattle, but knew that if convicted again, she would have to make that dreaded return journey.
Neither Knox nor Solecitto were in court on Friday.
“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy,” Knox said in a prepared statement. “The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal.”
Kercher’s mother, Arline said, according to reports in UK media, she was both “a bit surprised and very shocked” by the Supreme Court’s decision. If convicted, Knox faced 28 years and 6 months in prison and Solecitto 25 years, as ordered during the 2013 conviction.