Prosecutors in Italy lodged an appeal Tuesday against the acquittal of American student Amanda Knox in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
A secretary for prosecutor Giuliano Mignini confirmed to CNN that the appeal had been filed, but said Mignini was not immediately available for comment.
Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of murder in 2009 but cleared when they appealed the verdicts in October.
In legal paperwork published in December, the judge in the case wrote that the jury had cleared the pair for lack of evidence proving they were guilty.FULL STORY
Amanda Knox may be one step closer to telling the world her side of the story about her saga of being wrapped up in an Italian murder trial that caught the world's eye.
Knox, who recently returned home to the United States after winning an appeal of her conviction, has officially inked a deal with attorney Robert Barnett to represent her when it comes to book deals.
Knox was convicted in 2009 of murder, sexual assault, possession of a weapon, interfering with a crime and theft in relation to the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher. But during an appeal this year, a jury cleared Knox of those charges, freeing her. The court also cleared her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.
"[Barnett will] represent her in discussions with various book publishers who have expressed an interest in Amanda writing a book," David Marriott, the Seattle public relations specialist hired by the Knox family during her trial told CNN by e-mail. "Mr. Barnett will also assist Amanda and her family in evaluating other opportunities as well."
Barnett is well-known for brokering major book deals with several high-profile figures including: President Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Laura Bush, Bob Woodward and Sarah Palin among several other notables.
Marriott told CNN they had no further details to share about where they were in the process or whether Knox already had anything written. Knox's family has said she enjoys writing and thought she would be interested in sharing her ordeal with others either through writing a book or becoming an advocate.
Knox's announcement came about a week after her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito inked a deal of his own. Sollecito signed with Seattle-based Martin Literary Management.
“This is a case I have followed from day one and never, not even for a moment, have I doubted the innocence of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox,” Sharlene Martin said in a news release. “I’m honored to work with this fine young man and let the world know the real Raffaele — a sensitive, compassionate and heartfelt person."
"He's never really spoken about that night and this is his opportunity to do so," Martin told CNN. "There's much more to Raffaele than what the world has seen. He is an amazing young man. He is brave, he is heartfelt, he is compassionate. I think he is an incredible young man with a story to tell."
Martin said that both her client and Knox have been in the spotlight for so long and while she just learned about Knox's deal, she is excited for them both to share their stories. She also said the caliber of Knox's agent speaks to how important it is for her story to be told.
"I think Amanda is very fortunate to have him," Martin said. "It speaks volumes for a man of his integrity to want to represent her story and I think it will distinguish her from other crime stories and I think it will help Raffaele."
Martin said that Sollecito's book will be a memoir and will cover several aspects of his life, not just the four-year saga in Perugia, Italy. Martin said they're currently looking for American writers who can also speak with Sollecito in Italian to work on the book.
She said while Knox's story may have been more heavily covered in the media, because she's American, she believes both of the former co-defendants have a lot to share with those who only saw them through the court proceedings.
"They both have equally important stories to tell," Martin said. "They have both been incredibly affected by the death of Meredith Kercher and will always be."
[5:42 p.m. PT, 8:42 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox told cheering supporters Tuesday night, "What's important for me is just to say thank you to everyone who has believed in me, supported me and my family." Knox, who was released from an Italian prison Monday after being cleared of murder charges, made very brief remarks after her arrival at the Seattle airport.
[5:31 p.m. PT, 8:31 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox, released from an Italian prison Monday after being cleared of murder charges, has arrived in her hometown of Seattle.FULL STORY
Comment of the morning:
“Justice prevailed and Amanda Knox is free. Enough said.” – Guest
After nearly four years, Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were dramatically cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher on Monday in Italy. While Kercher’s family is still seeking the truth, Knox is already on her way back home to her native Seattle.
Thousands of CNN.com readers posted comments about the overturned convictions. Most say they believe Knox is innocent – mainly pointing to evidence against Rudy Guede, who was convicted separately of involvement in the killing and already is serving 16 years in prison.
jimmy009 said, “The strange thing is this is actually a pretty straightforward case. Every sign points to a drifter with a violent past, who is now in jail for the crime.”
Plainlogik said, “The guilty person whose DNA was ALL over the BLOODY crime scene is already in prison. How do you conclude that if three people are involved, two people wipe down their bloody prints, DNA, hair fibers, semen and come out with no marks ... and perfectly leave the third person's DNA all over the room. Rudy Guede is CLEARLY the guilty person. How much more clear does it need to be?”
For further updates please read the full CNN Wire story here.
[Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET] Business mogul Donald Trump told CNN’s Erin Burnett he hoped that Amanda Knox would somehow be able to rebound and make some “dividends” off her ordeal. “I”ve been supporting the family. I’ve been helping the family and will continue to help them,” he said.
“For her to have spent four years in a terrible jail is just outrageous,” he said. "I don’t think they [the Knox family] can leave [Italy] quick enough. She went to Italy to learn the language. Well, she learned the language,” he said.
[Updated at 6:54 p.m. ET] Rocco Girlanda, a member of the Italian parliament who became an advocate for Knox, said she was "incredibly happy" upon leaving prison. He said Knox will leave Tuesday for Seattle, her hometown.
CNN.com Live is your home for gavel-to-gavel coverage of Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial.
Today's programming highlights...
10:00 am ET - Amanda Knox trial: Kercher family briefing - Representatives for Meredith Kercher's family discuss the appeals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
Nearly four years after she was arrested on suspicion of having killed her roommate in this picturesque Italian university town, Amanda Knox got one last chance Monday to persuade a jury she didn't do it.
"People always ask who is Amanda Knox? I am the same person I was four years ago. But I have lost a friend. I have lost my faith in Italian police. I am paying with my life for something I have not done. Four years ago I didn't know what suffering was," Knox said, delivering her statement in Italian.
"I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal," she added. "I was not there."
Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito are fighting to be acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Prosecutors have called for the pair's sentences - of 26 and 25 years, respectively - to be increased to life.
The case is now in the hands of two judges and six jurors, who retired together within minutes of Knox's statement to consider their ruling.
Knox and Sollecito were convicted of the killing and related crimes in December 2009. Their appeal has focused largely on DNA evidence found on a knife and on a bra clasp belonging to the victim.
Knox's words capped a dramatic week of closing arguments by the host of lawyers battling over the outcome, from the lawyer for a man falsely accused of the crime, who called Knox "Lucifer-like, demonic, Satanic," to the Sollecito defense counsel Giulia Bongiorno, who insisted that like the buxom cartoon temptress Jessica Rabbit in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" Knox is not bad, just "drawn that way."
Knox told the court she always wanted justice for Kercher, her roommate at the university.
"I am innocent. Raffaele is innocent," she said.
At the conclusion of her statement, Knox put her hands on her face and wept. Before Knox addressed the court, Sollecito asked the court to set Amanda and him free.
Sollecito described the original investigation, the trial and the jailing as "living in a nightmare."FULL STORY
Amanda Knox is not the "femme fatale" the media has painted her as, a lawyer for her co-defendant argued Tuesday, urging a jury to acquit Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito of murdering Meredith Kercher.
Lawyer Giulia Buongiorno compared Knox to the voluptuous cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, who protests, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way," in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Buongiorno, who represents Sollecito - Knox's former boyfriend - said the whole trial was based on DNA evidence "on which mistakes were made," and urged the jury to "abandon imagined fantasies" and acquit the pair.
Knox and Sollecito are fighting their conviction for killing Kercher - Knox's roommate - in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, while Sollecito got 25.
As she began her closing arguments Tuesday, Buongiorno said there was no physical trace of Knox or Sollecito in the room where Kercher was found murdered.
The judge in the Amanda Knox trial Wednesday rejected a prosecution request for new DNA testing as the American fights her conviction for killing her British housemate, Meredith Kercher.
Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman also rejected prosecution efforts to introduce newly found records about the original testing and to hear a new witness - all victories for Knox's defense, which opposed the motions.
He then adjourned the hearing until September 23, when final arguments are expected to begin. The earliest possible verdict date is September 29, under a timetable released by the judge Wednesday.FULL STORY
Wildfires raged across Texas early Wednesday as they have each of the last 295 days, charring nearly 120,000 acres in the last week alone.
"I cannot emphasize enough to Texans in the impacted areas the importance of heeding all warnings from local officials, especially evacuation orders, as these fires are mean, swift and highly dangerous," Gov. Rick Perry said. The largest fire, near Austin, has spread across 33,000 acres, claiming two lives and forcing the evacuations of at least 5,000 people.
Another person has died from the shooting rampage that occurred Tuesday at an IHOP near Carson City, Nevada, officials said early Wednesday. A gunman carrying a variant of an AK-47 rifle opened fire on uniformed Nevada National Guard members as they were having breakfast. In all, 11 people were shot, and the gunman turned his weapon on himself.
There's more from the Amanda Knox hearing in Italy. On Wednesday, a forensic expert testified that DNA on the knife used to kill British student Meredith Kercher could not have been from blood. Carlo Torre, one of Italy's best-known forensics experts, presented a detailed technical argument about the DNA on the knife as Knox appeals her 2009 conviction for the murder of her housemate. Prosecutors contend there were traces of Knox's genetic material on the handle and Kercher's in a tiny groove on the blade. Kercher's semi-naked body was found in the house that she and Knox shared in Perugia, Italy. For complete coverage of the Knox case, click here.
There’s been no shortage of speculation about what took place the night in 2007 when American student Amanda Knox’s roommate was murdered in the house they shared in Perugia, Italy.
Whether the case is playing out in court or not, the speculation about whether Knox was responsible for the death of her roommate Meredith Kercher rages on – in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and her Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, was sentenced to 25 years for murder.
The question everyone asks: What really happened inside that house, and is Knox responsible? The questioning of the verdict comes in many forms: How do the cultural and judicial differences between Italy and the U.S. and UK change the way we view the case?
Part of the answer has come from the case's new momentum as Knox’s attorney presented evidence during his client's appeal of her murder conviction challenging Italian police forensic operations.
Forensic expert Patrizia Stefanoni and her team examined DNA evidence during the original investigation in 2007. Their work has been strongly contested by two court-appointed forensic experts, professors Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti. The professors argued that two key pieces of evidence in the conviction of Knox and Sollecito should have been considered inadmissible. Knox's supporters say they hope her conviction may be overturned or her sentence reduced on appeal.
CNN Radio's John Lisk spoke with journalist Nina Burleigh about her new book, "The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox" (Broadway), which takes a look at why this case has captured the attention of so many people.
During an appeal hearing Monday the American college student convicted in Italy of killing her British roommate claimed again that she is innocent.
"I don't know what happened that night," Amanda Knox said referring to the murder of Meredith Kercher.
A key witness during Knox's trial, a drifter named Rudy Guede, refused in court to say that Knox was not involved. Guede was among those convicted in the trial for participating in the Kercher killing.
Knox responded to that testimony by saying that she felt "shocked."
Rudy Guede also denied that he had said during Knox's trial that Knox's ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was not involved in the killing. Sollecito, 27, was convicted of the murder, too. Guede is serving 16 years.
Kercher was found stabbed to death in 2007 at the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, the central Italian town where both were students. She was semi-naked and her throat had been slashed. The convictions occured in 2009.FULL STORY
An Italian inmate on Saturday testified that a fellow prisoner confessed that Amanda Knox, the American student convicted of murder in Italy, was not actually involved in the killing.
Knox was sentenced last year to 26 years in prison for the death of Meredith Kercher at a villa the two shared in Perugia, the central Italian town where both were students.
Knox has vehemently proclaimed her innocence and her family has continued to fight the conviction.
There was nearly two hours of legal wrangling between attorneys before the judge decided to allow inmate Mario Alessi to testify. Alessi is serving a 30-year sentence for kidnapping and killing a 18-month old boy.
Alessi testified that Rudy Guede, who has also been convicted of being involved in Kercher's murder and is serving a 16-year sentence, told him that Knox was not involved in the killing.FULL STORY