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Lifetime Amanda Knox Movie Set to Air Next Year, Hayden Panettiere to Star

Amanda Knox and Hayden Panettiere (AP Photos)
Lifetime Amanda Knox Movie Set to Air Next Year, Hayden Panettiere to Star
Amanda Knox and Hayden Panettiere (AP)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Lifetime Television is set to produce a made-for-TV movie about Amanda Knox, the American exchange student convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, her British roommate, while studying abroad in Italy, and they already have their star - "Heroes" actress Hayden Panettiere.

the 21-year-old actress will play the Seattle native in the movie which is slated to air in 2011 on the women's cable network, according to The New York Post.

Knox and her 23-year-old Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty of murdering Kercher, a 21-year-old exchange student from England, and were sentenced to over 20 years in prison despite prosecutors' pleas for a life sentence.

Kercher's half naked body was found in a pool of blood with her throat slit on Nov. 2, 2007, in the bedroom of the house she shared with Knox.

On the night of the murder, prosecutors contended Knox and Sollecito met at the apartment Kercher and Knox shared.

Kercher's family is said to be disappointed by the news that their daughter's murder will be given the Hollywood treatment, according to the Daily Mail.

'It is inopportune as the trial is still on going with two further appeals," the family's lawyer, Francesco Maresca, told the paper Tuesday.

Arline Kercher said it was particularly insulting that the movie has been named "The Amanda Knox Story," giving special attention to her daughter's killer, the paper reported.

Knox is due in court next month for a hearing on the slander case brought against her by the Perugia police department for claiming that she was beaten and intimidated into giving her confession shortly after Kercher's body was found.

Knox's appeal against her conviction is expected to be heard in November. Her attorneys will argue that the DNA evidence presented at her trial was flawed.

Complete Coverage of Amanda Knox on Crimesider.