An Italian court has convicted American student Amanda Knox for a second time in the slaying of her roommate. On Thursday, two judges and six jurors deliberated for 12 hours before finding Knox, 27, guilty of murder and sentencing her to nearly 29 years in prison for the fatal 2007 stabbing of Meredith Kercher.
In 2011, an Italian appeals court overturned Knox’s conviction, allowing the Seattle native to return to the U.S. In 2008, Knox was one of three people sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder of Kercher, a 21-year-old British native.
The young women shared a home together in the Central Italy town of Perugia, where both were studying abroad. Prosecutors surmised that Knox helped kill Kercher after an attempted tryst went awry.
The sexual brutality of the crime and Knox’s baby-faced looks helped make the case the subject of international press and a Lifetime made-for-TV movie starring Hayden Panettiere. Knox has slammed prosecutors’ decision to overturn the acquittals of both she and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who was also charged with Kercher’s murder.
“It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution’s theory of my involvement in Meredith’s murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair. I believe that any questions as to my innocence must be examined by an objective investigation and a capable prosecution. The prosecution responsible for the many discrepancies in their work must be made to answer for them, for Raffaele’s sake, my sake and most especially for the sake of Meredith’s family. Our hearts go out to them.”
Sollecito, an Italian native, was also re-convicted following the retrial. He’s expected to serve 25 years for his alleged role in the slaying.
Despite outcries that faulty DNA evidence and police misconduct played a role in the convictions of Knox and Sollecito, Kercher’s family expressed concern that a decision that “was so certain two years ago has been so dramatically overturned.”
Knox was not in court for the afternoon verdict. She decided to remain in the United States during the retrial and legal analysts say it’s unlikely she’ll be extradited — despite the re-conviction.
Knox already served four years in prison and U.S. law dictates that a person cannot be tried twice on the same charge. Double jeopardy, Ladies and Gentlemen. One legal expert tells CNN that if Italy were to ask for extradition, U.S. officials would likely deny the request.