(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Amanda Knox told her two younger sisters during a prison visit that she is "very nervous" about the verdict expected Monday in her Italian murder appeal case.
"She's very nervous about (the verdict) because of what happened last time, but we're also very hopeful about it,'' Ashley Knox told NBC's Today Show in a live interview in Italy on Thursday. "I have my hopes pretty high,'' Delaney Knox added.
Amanda Knox's defense lawyer said Thursday that the American student, convicted of murdering her British roommate, was an innocent girl "crucified" by unfair media coverage which has "swept away her life."
"She is not the witch that everybody says she is,'' Ashley Knox told the morning show. "She is a very loyal and down-to-earth person that I know, and everyone that knows her knows.''
Knox was convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher, a British student in Perugia, and sentenced to 26 years in prison, while co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years. They deny wrongdoing and have appealed the 2009 verdicts.
Knox was arrested on Nov. 6, 2007, only four days after Kercher's body was found in the apartment they shared in Perugia. Her case quickly became a media sensation and she was painted as either as a manipulative girl-gone-wild or as a naïve young woman trapped in a judicial nightmare.
The role of media has been a theme of closing arguments for both the defense and the prosecution. Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini has criticized what he said was media interference and an increasingly strong campaign in support Knox. Defense lawyers, on the other hand, argue that Knox has been unfairly portrayed.
"Knox has been crucified in a public square, subjected to the most sinister of speculations," Dalla Vedova said. "All, regardless of their nationalities, have offended Amanda Knox."
Kercher, 21, was brutally stabbed to death in what prosecutors say had begun as a sexual assault. Prosecutors say that a fourth person was present the night of the murder, Rudy Hermann Guede from Ivory Coast, who has also been convicted. Italy's highest criminal court has upheld Guede's conviction and his 16-year prison sentence. Guede also denies wrongdoing.
Knox and Sollecito, who was the American's boyfriend at the time of the crime, insist they spent the night at his house.