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Convicted of murder, American student Amanda Knox, prepares to appeal her murder charge on Monday in an Italian court. The sister of the slain victim, Meredith Kercher, reminds the public of the life that was lost.
“Please remember our beautiful Meredith,” said Stephanie Kercher in a statement distributed Sunday by attorney Francesco Maresca. Stephanie Kercher said that the media frenzy that developed around the Amanda Knox trial has made people forget about what was taken from Meredith – her life.
In 2007, Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted for the death of Meredith Kercher, 21. Kercher, a British exchange student, was found dead in the villa she and Knox rented together in the central Italian university town of Perugia. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, Sollecito to 25.
A third defendant in the case is drug dealer Rudy Guede. An immigrant from the Ivory Coast, Guede was jailed in connection with Kercher’s death. According to CNN, he was sentenced to 30 years for murder and sexual violence following a fast-track trial in 2008. His sentence was later cut to 16 years.
His case will not be appealed. According to a prosecution reconstruction, Guede and Sollecito held Kercher down, while Knox stabbed her. Kercher was found semi-naked, with her throat slashed. In July, the Italian appeals court heard the testimony of a new DNA analysis that may call Knox’s conviction into question.
The proceeding will resume Monday, reported CNN. The original DNA found on the alleged murder weapon — the knife — has been dismissed as evidence. According to the West Seattle Herald, the Kercher family, who is suing Knox and Sollecito in a civil suit, believes the couple is guilty of mudering Meredith.
The fact that the experts, professors Carol Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti, who will be reexamining the case evidence Monday were appointed by the judge, is expected to create much controversy in the courtroom. “Over the last week, we have waited anxiously and with great concern as the rumours surrounding the original DNA evidence findings are spreading,” Stephanie Kercher said in the statement.
CNN reported that at trial, authorities testified that a knife found in Sollecito’s home had traces of Knox’s genetic material on the handle and Kercher’s on the blade. Kercher’s bra had traces of Sollecito’s DNA. Vecchiotti and Conti have brought into question the strength of the evidence that convicted Knox and Sollecito.
Edda Knox, Amanda’s mother, expressed to the Seattle Herald her gratitude for all those backing her daughter. “We are thrilled that so many people see that Amanda is clearly innocent,” Edda Knox said. “Support for her continues to grow and we appreciate each person.” Kercher said she is hopeful that the appeal will not change the original verdict on the case of her sister’s death.
“We still have confidence in the Perugia police and every faith in all those involved in court and the investigation,” Kercher said.