ROME (CBS/AP) Three months after a panel of Italian judges sent American college student Amanda Knox to prison for 26 years for allegedly killing her roommate during a sex game, they seem very satisfied with their decision and believe that drugs or sexual "excitement" led up to the brutal crime.
(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Photo: Amanda Knox.
On Thursday, the court released a 427-page document which essentially re-affirms their earlier ruling. They say Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito joined with an Ivory Coast native for a ritualistic sex game that ended in the murder of Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British student. Knox, Sollecito, and Kercher were all studying in Perugia, Italy at the time.
According to the document, the killing was spontaneous and Knox and Sollecito felt no resentment toward the victim. After the murder, the two showed a "sort of repentance" for their crime by covering Kercher's naked dead body with a duvet, the report says.
The judges bought the prosecution's case against the American exchange student including the forensic evidence which had been strongly contested during the trial.
The document says they found no holes or inconsistencies in the case. The guilty verdict was a "necessary and strictly consequential outcome" of the trial, the document said.
Kercher's body was found in a pool of blood on Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment she shared with Knox in the Italian city of Perugia. The judges said she was murdered the night before by Knox, Sollecito and Ivory Coast native Rudy Hermann Guede, who also has been convicted of murder in a separate trial. Guede sexually assaulted Kercher with the help of Sollecito and Knox, the newly-released document said.
The document claims that the pair might have found Guede's sexual drive toward Kercher "exciting" or might have been under the influence of drugs.
Knox and Sollecito were convicted in December. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in jail, while Sollecito received a 25-year sentence. The two, who were dating at the time of the killing, have maintained from the beginning they are innocent. During her trial, Knox said that her convoluted statements to police were a result of being beaten and heavily pressured.
David Marriott, a spokesman for the Knox family, said in an e-mailed statement that "Amanda's lawyers are currently reviewing the document and will be discussing it with the family as soon as their review is completed."
The verdict against Knox was highly controversial in America, but considered a fait accompli in Italy where Knox was vilified by the media as a sexual temptress.
48 Hours Mystery reported on the Amanda Knox case and the aftermath of the verdict Saturday Dec. 5, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
MORE ON CRIMESIDER
December 23, 2009 - Rudy Hermann Guede Will Get Out of Jail Before Amanda Knox for Meredith Kercher's Murder
December 16, 2009 - Amanda Knox May be Joined in Jail by the Prosecutor That Put Her There
December 4, 2009 - Amanda Knox Verdict: Italian Jury Will Announce Decision at 6 P.M. Eastern
December 3, 2009 - Amanda Knox Pleads With Jury: I'm No "Assassin"
December 1, 2009 - Lawsuits Fly in Amanda Knox Murder Trial
November 24, 2009 - Amanda Knox: Sex-Game Murder Charge is "Pure Fantasy;" Italian Prosecutors Want Life Sentence
November 20, 2009 - Amanda Knox Trial: Convicted Killer Fingers Knox for Meredith Kercher Murder
June 19, 2009 - Knox's Mom Says Daughter, Victim Got Along
June 15, 2009 - "Always A Crescendo:" Amanda Knox Talks About Murder Investigation On Stand
June 12, 2009 - Knox's Alibi: Sex, Drugs And Sleep