Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been found guilty in the murder of Meredith Kercher on their appeal trial, to the relief of supporters of the family of Meredith Kercher, the victim. The pair were originally found guilty in 2009, then acquitted on appeal in 2011, only to have the Italian Supreme Court nullify the result of the first appeal. This recent “re-trial” is in fact their first appeal of the original verdict, because the first appeal result was nullified.
A key fact in the case damning Knox was her absolutely false accusation that her boss, Patrick Lumumba, pictured at left, had committed the killing of Meredith. Knox was originally convicted of a crime for that false statement, which withstood her first appeal.
Undoubtedly both will exercise their right to appeal this result to the Supreme Court. The actions and statements of each indicate they do not plan to be around to serve the sentence. Knox did not even appear in person at this trial, despite penning a book about her “ordeal” entitled “Waiting to Be Heard.” And, she has threatened to become a fugitive in this event. Sollecito appeared for this trial, but has spent time enjoying himself in the Dominican Republic, fueling speculation he will go there to live prior to execution of sentence, since there is no extradition treaty between those Italy and that nation.
Shortly after the death of Meredith Kercher in October of 2007, Raffaele Sollecito told police Knox was at his apartment all night. He then told police that was “rubbish” and that Knox was gone from his apartment from 8:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
When questioned by police, Knox said she was present at the cottage she shared with Meredith Kercher when Patrick Lumumba, her boss at a part-time pub job, was in Meredith's bedroom, and Knox heard Meredith screaming. Lumumba was released only after two weeks in jail, when he cleared himself with business records. Knox was convicted in the first trial of falsely blaming Patrick, and of murder. Although the murder convicted was reversed on appeal, the conviction for slandering Patrick was not. The Supreme Court of Italy then reversed the acquittal of the murder charge last year, resulting in a new appeal trial.
It appears Raffaele Sollecito was drawn under Knox’s spell as were many members of the U.S. media, a Senator, and a Washington State Superior Court judge, and Oprah Winfrey, all who took part in a chorus that her original charge and conviction were the result of an unjust Italian court system.
Today's verdict is a vindication for a prosecution team that faced a media PR campaign by Knox's family, and accusations from the defense of improper police conduct. Yesterday, the Examiner outlined key aspects of the strong evidence of guilt.