Best-selling American author Amanda Knox is currently awaiting the verdict of her retrial in Italy, where she remains accused by prosecutors of murdering her friend and housemate Meredith Kercher back in 2007. Knox has previously been tried, convicted and then later saw her conviction overturned before Italy's highest court insisted on a retrial. The Amanda Knox retrial verdict is expected to be reached and announced Thursday. Stay with us: we will update this page with the verdict as soon as it is announced. UPDATE: Verdict reading pushed back. Now expected 2 p.m. EST US time.
VERDICT: Amanda Knox has been found guilty of murder in Italy, meaning her 28 year sentence is once again legally valid in the country. (Knox has previously served four years behind bars in Italy related to this case.)
Knox and her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito (UPDATE: Sollecito also found guilty at retrial per Jan. 30 verdict), were both charged with the crime and, in 2009, found themselves convicted in Kercher's killing. In 2011, their convictions were overturned by a jury due to a lack of evidence.
Amanda Knox Retrial Verdict: American Likely Won't Return to Italy Even if Convicted
After four years behind bars in Italian custody, Knox and Sollecito were released. In 2013, Italy's Supreme Court stated they wanted both defendants in the case retried on appeal as they didn't feel all evidence was considered by the acquitting jury. That appeal-based trial began in September 2013 and is expected to result in a verdict on Jan. 30. In a recent interview, Knox said she would hole up at her mother's Seattle home to "[await the verdict] with my heart in my throat."
Following her release from the Italian prison where she says she suffered indignities such as being told she was HIV positive (she wasn't and isn't) and having male authority figures sexually harass her for years, Knox sought a book deal, received an offer of $4 million and wrote a memoir titled, "Waiting To Be Heard," which saw success as much for its true crime grit and Knox's girl-next-door appeal.
From the start, Amanda Knox has professed her innocence. "I must repeat to you. I'm innocent. I did not rape, I did not steal ... I did not kill Meredith," Knox said in a court statement sent from the US for use in the retrial. "There is no scientific proof that puts me in the crime scene."
Even if the Amanda Knox retrial verdict results in another conviction for the pretty brunette, it is doubtful the US would extradite the young author. It seems equally unlikely Knox would volunteer to jet across the Atlantic to subject herself to a prison term that seems almost voluntary at this point.
Co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito, who has also since penned his memoir, won't have such an easy 'out' if found guilty in Kercher's murder; he is an Italian citizen and is in-country for the legal proceedings. If there is a new conviction, Sollecito will be taken into custody to serve whatever sentence the court hands down; barring further appeals, of course. Stay tuned for our live verdict watch updates.