Italy’s Highest Court Overturns Amanda Knox Conviction

Amanda Knox arrives in court in Perugia, Italy, on Sept. 30, 2011. (Photo: Tiziana Fabi, AFP/Getty Images)
Amanda Knox arrives in court in Perugia, Italy, on Sept. 30, 2011.
(Photo: Tiziana Fabi, AFP/Getty Images)

In a final ruling, Italy’s highest court on Friday overturned the convictions of American Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend in the sensational murder case of Knox’s British roommate.

The six judges announced their decision about 10:30 p.m. in Rome (5:30 p.m. ET). They began deliberating at noon after closing arguments by the lawyer for Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s boyfriend when 21-year-old Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death in late 2007.

The ruling, which struck down last year’s guilty verdicts by a Florence appeals court, which brings the eight-year case to a close. The judges concluded that the evidence did not support a conviction. Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.

The 27-year-old Knox did not return to Italy from her Seattle home for the final appeal. Knox, who had consistently maintained her innocence, was “very worried” in the days before the ruling, said her Italian lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova.

Sollecito’s lawyer made a final appeal to the court Friday, saying there were “colossal” errors in the Florence appeals court verdict.

In her two-hour argument, Giulia Bongiorno compared Sollecito to Forrest Gump, the naive, dim-witted-but-earnest fictional hero of the book and 1994 movie starring Tom Hanks.

“He is an innocent who became wrapped up in spectacular and gigantic events that, like Forrest Gump, he did not fully realize,” she said, saying her client was “was watching cartoons” at home when Kercher was killed.

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SOURCE: USA Today
Kim Hjelmgaard and John Bacon

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