An Italian jury has found the American and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito guilty of the murder of British student Meredith Kircher.
BBC is reporting that the jury rendered its verdict after several hours of deliberation, convicting the pair on ten of eleven charges including murder and sexual violence. Knox was sentenced to a prison term of 26 years and Sollecito to 25 years for their roles in the murder. Knox was seen putting her hand up to her face and sobbing after the reading of the verdict while crowds outside were heard cheering. The court also ordered the pair to pay millions of Euros in compensation to the family of the victim. Lawyers representing both parties say they will appeal the decision.
A statement made by the Knox family rejected the conviction:
"We are extremely disappointed in the verdict rendered today against our daughter."
"While we always knew this was a possibility, we find it difficult to accept this verdict when we know that she is innocent, and that the prosecution has failed to explain why there is no evidence of Amanda in the room where Meredith was so horribly and tragically murdered."
"It appears clear to us that the attacks on Amanda's character in much of the media and by the prosecution had a significant impact on the judges and jurors and apparently overshadowed the lack of evidence in the prosecution's case against her."
"Amanda is innocent and we will continue to fight for her freedom,"
Earlier in the day, Knox made a final emotional plea to jurors denying any involvement and expressing sadness. It was her third appearance on the stand in front of the jurors. Sollecito, for his part, denied being involved claiming it was not in his nature to commit such a violent act.
As reported earlier on Digital Journal, Knox, a university student studying in Italy, is believed to have been the mastermind behind the murder. Prosecutors allege the 22 year-old resented Kircher and forced her into a drug-fueled sex game that ended in her vicious death. Kircher had her throat slashed and lay half-naked on the bedroom floor of an apartment she shared with Knox when discovered by police. The pair were arrested later along with a third suspect. Rudy Guede within days of the discovery. Guede, who opted for a separate trial, was convicted on the charges last year and sentenced to thirty years prison time although he has since launched an appeal. Described as a drifter from the Ivory Coast, Guede claimed hearing a scream shortly before the murder and fleeing the scene of the crime.