Photo by Steve Shay
West Seattle raised Amanda Knox fights for her freedom in a speech shortly in court in Italy as a gathering of supporters and media at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle wait with great anticipation.

UPDATE 4: Amanda Knox DECLARED NOT GUILTY

Gulity of defamation, ordered to pay Patrick Lamumba 22,000 Euros

UPDATE 12:55
Amanda Knox was declared not guilty of murder in the conclusion of a four year ordeal. She was declared guilty of defamation of Patrick Lamumba and ordered to pay 22,000 Euros. See our wrap up story here. Updates will follow there.

UPDATE: 11:20 a.m.
Amanda Knox is headed back to court at this hour with the verdict expected to happen at 12:45 pm PDT.

UPDATE: 9:a.m.

Amanda Knox: "I have not killed. I have not raped"

During Amanda Knox's emotional speech, she said in Italian, "How did we react when we found out Meredith had been killed? I did not believe it. How was it possible? Her bedroom was next to mine. She was killed in our home. If I had been there that night I would have died. The only difference is, I was not there. I trusted the police's sense of duty and trust. I trusted them completely. I was betrayed on the night of November 5. I was manipulated. I am not who I they say I am. I am not violent. I do not have a lack of respect for life. And I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal. I wasn't there at the crime scene."

Four possible outcomes include:

Conviction upheld and she serves remaining 22 years
Conviction upheld and sentence increased to life
Conviction upheld and sentence reduced
Conviction overturned and she is released from prison

At about 8:00 a.m. Seattle time, Meredith Kercher's family spoke at a press conference in Perugia to discuss their sentiments of the trial.

Meredith's mother Arlineher, her brother, Lyle, and sister, Stephanie said Meredith has been forgotten in the publicity surrounding the trial. Stephanie referred to the court-appointed forensics expert's findings as the defense's version of the evidence. Those findings show the original DNA collections as unreliable. Arlineher said they believed the original findings of the prosecution in the first trial.

UPDATE: 3:30 a.m.

According to the presiding judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellman, the verdict in the Amanda Knox appeal is expected at 8:00 p.m. Perugia time, or 11:00 a.m. Seattle time. Still, it is possible a verdict could come sooner.

Seattle area resident and movie producer and writer, Tom Wright, who helped organized the gathering of Amanda supporters, told the West Seattle Herald that one portion of Knox's speech especially moved him, when she recalled her reasoning behind first cooperating with the police following Ms. Kercher's murder.

"Amanda said, 'I trusted authority completely. That was my upbringing. That was my background. I had not known tragedy until then. My life had been happy up until that point. I placed myself at their disposal. I had a sense of duty to help the police.'" Added Wright, "I thought that was such a personal insight."
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Any time now West Seattle raised Amanda Knox will make the most important speech of her life, just 15 minutes in length, to ask the jury of six, and two judges, to set her free from prison where she faces a 26-year sentence for the murder of her college roommate, Meredith Kercher.

Knox, and her then boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, deny all involvement in the Nov. 1, 2007 brutal murder in Perugia, Italy. He will speak after she does. The jury and judges will deliberate and a verdict is expected to follow, four or more hours later. Perugia is nine hours ahead of Seattle time.

The Fairmont Olympic Hotel has a suite hosting about 15 Knox supporters and about 10 TV cameras in anticipation of the speeches, then verdict.

The West Seattle Herald is following the action from the hotel suite. A large screen TV in the room is broadcasting the trial and related news. We plan to follow the trial through the verdict.

This is the appeal trial's conclusion. Knox was handed a guilty verdict Dec. 4, 2009, and her Arbor Heights family and extended family have been fighting for her freedom through the appeal process ever since.

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