STATEMENT DRAWS TEARS. Amanda Knox, the 23 year-old raised in West Seattle serving a 26-year jail sentence for the murder of Meredith Kercher, her college roommate in Perugia, Italy 3 years ago, drew tears from some in the new jury as she read her appeal Dec. 11.
Amanda Knox appeals to court, new jury members cry
This was second hearing at Knox appeal. Third will be Dec. 18
Amanda Knox will soon spend her fourth Christmas in prison. She is serving 26 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher, her college roommate in Perugia, Italy, killed three years ago. Knox, who was raised in West Seattle, appeared in court Saturday, Dec. 11, for the second time in her appeal process.
On Saturday, Dec. 18, the prosecution will tell the jury why they believe Knox's prison term should extend to life behind bars. Also Dec. 18, civil suits brought by Ms. Kercher's family and Patrick Lumumba will be heard. Lumumba was Knox's boss at his bar, Le Chic, at the time of the murder. According to statements made during her interrogation, she implicated him in Meredith's murder. Her defense maintains she was coerced. She had no official translator or lawyer provided.
At the conclusion of the Dec. 18 hearing the judge will retire briefly and decide whether to reopen the entire investigation, or, as many observers believe, portions of it. That would bring in third-party forensics experts to reexamine evidence that helped find Knox and Rafaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time , guilty of murder last year on Dec. 4.
With the appeal comes a new judge and jury. Knox's step-father, Curt Mellas, an Arbor Heights resident now staying near Perugia, told the West Seattle Herald the night of the Dec. 11 appeal by phone that he was amazed at what happened just after 9 a.m. in court that day. It was about the Massei Report, the document containing the previous court's findings and theory about Knox and Sollecito's involvement in the murder that yielded their guilty verdicts.
Mellas explained, "The judge finished up his summary of the Massei Report, his synopsis of the judgement which is the ruling against Amanda and Raffaele, and he told the court, 'The only thing we know for certain in this complex case is that Meredith was murdered.' An attorney with an American TV network leaned over to me and said, 'Oh my God, he just established reasonable doubt.' This is a big deal."
Mellas was also pleased with his step-daughter's half hour-plus statement she read in Italian.
"She did very well," Mellas said. "Raffaele's step-mom and dad came over and told me she did an amazing job. They had nothing but wonderful things to say about Amanda's statement. They were very happy that she stood up for herself and Raffaele."
Mellas knows just some Italian and understood only parts of her statement before getting an English translation.
"Normally, when she spoke at the trial last year she would have notes, just little things she wanted to say, but would then go through a long (statement). She doesn't have that ability anymore. It is too difficult for her to maintain a degree of composure to make a speech off the cuff with only a set of points to make. This statement was all written down and written by her. There were times she had to stop and slow down her crying for everybody to understand her.
"At the same time it was very moving," he said. "Half the jury was crying. Members of the media were passing around tissues. Raffaele was choking back tears. I could see his lips quivering. Everyone said that when she was speaking, her voice had the very raw sense of pain and an incredible degree of honesty and emotion."