October 3rd, 2011
05:10 PM ET

Live blog: Amanda Knox to go free after jury overturns murder conviction

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.

[Updated at 6:22 p.m. ET] Rocco Girlanda spoke briefly with the father of Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s former boyfriend and co-defendant.

The family had no plans to meet with Knox and were “driving towards our home,” he said, according to Girlanda. “Raffaele is very spaced out,” Girlanda said Sollecito's father told him.

Read: Italian jury clears Amanda Knox of murder

[Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET] Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN contributor and legal analyst, said the evidence against Knox was “somewhere between thin and non-existent.”

[Updated at 6:09 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox is in an undisclosed location with family and will take the next flight to Seattle, Washington, CNN’s Matthew Chance reported.

“She’s told everybody that she wants to get back home as soon as possible. She told the court that earlier today. She begged them. She pleaded with them," Chance said.

[Updated at 6:00 p.m. ET] CNN’s Matthew Chance described the courtroom scene as the ruling was read: “It was absolutely electric. There were whoops. There were tears.” Amanda Knox “was in hysterics, in a positive way,” he said. Quietly sobbing, she was quickly led out of the courtroom. “She could barely walk,” he said.

Also present were members of slaying victim Meredith Kercher’s family, including her mother and sister, who cried on a man’s shoulder as the ruling was read.

“These were very different emotions sort of circulating through that courtroom,” he said.

[Updated at 5:49 p.m. ET] CNN's Becky Anderson, reporting from outside the courtroom, said the crowd, comprised largely of young people, seemed divided. “Many of them are absolutely furious over what they heard today. ‘How could they [court officials] have gone this far andoverturned on appeal?” she said, summarizing a viewpoint of those milling around the building in Perugia.

“Others say this shows that the Italian justice system works," she said.

[Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET] Rocco Girlanda, Italian MP,  tells CNN and other media outside the jail that Amanda Knox is meeting her parents a few miles from the prison. Her first desire is to lie down on a green field, he said.

Knox enjoyed a measure of support inside the prison. She jumped for joy when other prisoners said  “Well done!” CNN's Paula Newton reported.

[Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox has left the Capanne prison where she has been held for four years.

Knox was in the back of a black tinted car and is officially a free woman, CNN's Paula Newton reported.

"That was her private escort out of here,” said Paula of a Mercedes sedan that exited the prison. “I did get a very short glimpse of her. It was her."

A book author and Italian parliamentarian who was friendly with Knox said she was very happy about the ruling but was anxious to see her family.

Rocco Girlanda told reporters that Knox's passport is okay and she will leave for Seattle, Washington on Tuesday morning from Italy.

[Updated at 5:01 p.m. ET] Meredith Kercher's family returned to their hotel and issued the following statement according to a spokesman:

"We respect the decision of the judges but we do not understand how the decision of the first trial could be so radically overturned," the statement said. "We still trust the Italian judicial system and hope that the truth will eventually emerge."

[Updated at 4:41 p.m. ET] A tinted van drove inside the Capanne prison compound but there has been no confirmation that it contained either Knox or her co-defendant Sollecito. Authorities at the prison have remained tight-lipped about the process of when or how Knox will leave the prison.

[Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET] A convoy of cars with sirens is returning to prison, likely with Amanda Knox inside.

If she is indeed back at the prison she will likely pick up her remaining belongings, sign a few papers and leave.

There is a heavy security presence in front of the prison gates, CNN's Paula Newton reported.

Newton said they believe Knox was inside the convoy because they could hear cheers erupting from inside the prison, presumably on her arrival.

[Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET] Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S.State Department said the following regarding the Knox verdict:

"The United States appreciates the careful consideration of this matter within the Italian judicial system. Our Embassy in Rome will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance to Ms. Knox and her family."

[Updated at 4:23 p.m. ET] An Italian court on Monday night ordered the immediate release of Amanda Knox after a jury overturned her murder conviction, Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova told CNN.

The prosecution can appeal the case to the highest court in Italy. Both will be freed and it will be up to Italy to make an extradition request to the United States should the high court overturn the appeals verdict.

[Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET] CNN's Becky Anderson reports that the crowd is continuing to mill about after the verdict.

"There are people who are protesting her decision here,” she said. ‘There have been shouts, screams.”

[Updated at 4:08 p.m. ET] One of Amanda Knox’s lawyers, Carlo Dallas Vedova, said outside court that “we are satisfied" with the jury's ruling.

"Amanda is released," he said. "She wants to go back home. She has always confirmed that she was a friend of Meredith."

He said that she will be leaving Italy "as soon as possible."

"She really wants to go back home," he said.

[Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET] CNN's Matthew Chance said that before the verdict was read Amanda Knox “looked devastated. She was sitting on the chair sobbing, talking to her lawyer and the decision was delivered very quickly. What it means is that after four years in jail she can walk free tonight.”

[Updated at 4:06 p.m. ET] CNN's Richard Allen Greene reports that a mostly young and rowdy but cheerful crowd has converged on the square outside courthouse. There are at least hundreds filling the square, he reported.

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] Deanna Knox, one of Amanda's sisters, spoke outside the courthouse thanking those who supported their family throughout the case.

“Not only did [defense lawyers] defend her brilliantly but they also loved her ... and lastly we are faithful to the court for having the courage to look for the truth," she said.

There were cheers of approval from the crowd in as she spoke.

"She suffered for four years for a crime that she did not commit," Deanna Knox said of her sister.

She then praised the jury's ruling.

"We are thankful to the court for having the courage to look for the truth and overturn this conviction," Deanna Knox told reporters.

She then asked that Amanda Knox and the family be given the privacy to "recover from this horrible ordeal."

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] Meredith Kercher's family is still sitting inside the courtroom where two of the three people accused of murdering her have now had their convictions overturned.

Kercher's sister Stephanie is sitting stone-faced.

CNN's Matthew Chance reported that Kercher's mother appeared upset when the verdict was read.  The family was stunned and silent. Stephanie Kercher, Meredith's sister, began to cry.

He noted the family believed Knox and Sollecito were guilty of the crime.

[Updated at 3:55 p.m. ET] As one of Sollecito's lawyers left court a group outside the Perugia building began booing.

[Updated at 3:52 p.m. ET] There was an audible gasp outside the courthouse when the verdict was read in court.

Knox and Sollecito were swiftly taken out of the courtroom.

Knox's family hugged and celebrated inside the courtroom after hearing the news as Amanda Knox appeared to turn around and smile at them.

Knox and Sollecito will go back to prison to pick up their things and then will be free to leave.

[Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET] A jury has partially overturned the conviction of Amanda Knox.

The jury has overturned the murder conviction but upheld the conviction on the defamation charges after she accused club owner Patrick Lumumba of killing British college student Meredith Kercher in 2007 in Perugia.

The judge has called for silence in the courtroom as applause erupts.

The jury has also overturned the murder conviction of Raffaele Sollecito. Both will be free to leave. Knox will be given time served for the defamation charge.

[Updated at 3:44 p.m. ET] CNN's Matthew Chance tweets from inside the courtroom:

Matthew Chance @mchancecnn: Charged atmosphere inside court. The defendants, the families, the media all on edge. Silence!!

[Updated at 3:37 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have entered the courtroom to hear their fate.

Knox, who is wearing a hooded black jacket, is flanked by three female guards behind her. She appears slightly nervous, and is beginning to tear up as she sits at the defendant's table awaiting the jury's ruling.

[Updated at 3:29 p.m. ET] CNN's Hada Messia reports that prosecutors Manuela Comodi and Giuliano Mignini have arrived in court.

Mignini greeted the Kercher family, shaking their hands and then kissing Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie on the cheek.

Lawyers for the defense and the prosecution have shaken hands and exchanged a few words as they await the jury's ruling.

CNN's Richard Allen Greene notes that more than a dozen plainclothes police officers are now inside the courtroom.

[Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET] The family of victim Meredith Kercher has arrived in court.

CNN's Becky Anderson asked Meredith's brother Lyle Kercher how he was feeling. His response: "Nervous."

Anderson reports the entire Kercher family looked very tired and very emotional.

[Updated at 3:17 p.m. ET] CNN's Matthew Chance tweets from inside the courtroom:

Matthew Chance@mchancecnn: More than dozen judicial police in plain clothes in court "in case of public disorder" #AmandaKnox

[Updated at 3:13 p.m. ET] Italian media outlet ANSA reports that the ruling has been pushed back to 3:45 p.m. ET.

[Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET] Carlo Pacelli, the lawyer for Patrick Lumumba who was first accused in the crime, is in court, apparently the first from the prosecution side to arrive.

Last week Pacelli called Knox satanic and Lucifer-like. He's smiling and chatting with journalists. He fought for defamation damages for the bar owner Knox was convicted of libelling.

[Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET] CNN's Matthew Chance tweets from inside the courtroom:
Matthew Chance

@mchancecnn: Tension intense inside court among handful of journos allowed in #AmandaKnox #meredithkercher

[Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET] CNN's Richard Allen Greene reports from inside the courtroom: At least five plainclothes Carabinieri police in court in addition to the usual uniformed officers.

Defense attorneys Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova  have arrived at court as well. When asked about Amanda Knox's mood, Dalla Vedova smiles and says "I don't know. I haven't seen her for a few hours."

Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno has also entered the courtroom.

[Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET] So, what will happen when the jury hands down their ruling?

There are three possible outcomes for the defendants:

1) Verdict is upheld: In this case, Knox and Sollecito will continue serving their respective 26 and 25-year jail sentences. However, prosecutor Manuela Comodi has called for their sentences to be increased to life.

2) Verdict is overturned

3) Verdict is partially overturned, with a decrease in sentence (verdicts can be upheld on some counts but not others, this may result in a decrease in their sentences).

[Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET] Amanda Knox's family have just arrived at the courthouse. Her mom and dad, her stepmom, stepdad and her sisters are the first to enter the courtroom after journalists were let in.

In about 45 minutes they will find out whether their daughter will remain in prison in Italy or return home with them after the four-year saga of the case.

[Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET] CNN's Antonia Mortensen reports that hundreds of onlookers have gathered around barriers places around the court entrance in hope of a glimpse of the families and Amanda Knox.

A young local Italian woman who is a student in Perugia told Mortensen this appeal ruling is like the event of the year in Perugia. She added that it has become a spectacle or a movie.

A middle aged Italian Perugian outside the court told Mortensen that he can't wait for this to be over so that the town can get back to normality. He calls this situation 'a circus'.

He added "the Italian legal system is very good and we should have faith in it."

Meanwhile, more police officers have arrived at the court, Mortensen reported, but so far neither Meredith Kercher nor Amanda Knox's relatives have arrived at the courthouse.

[Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET] A caravan of cars believe to have Knox and Sollecito inside has arrived near the courthouse in Perugia, Italy.

Two police vans have arrived with a police car escort, CNN's Richard Allen Greene reports.

Sirens are competing with clicks of dozens of photographers shutters, he said.

Onlookers appeared to rush after the vans to try and get a glimpse inside.

[Updated at 2:27 p.m. ET] A media vigil of sorts continues at the prison where Knox has been held for almost four years, CNN's Paula Newton reports.

Knox will return here no matter what happens - either to return to the same cell to finish out her sentence or to collect her belongings and officially leave Italy for Seattle, Washington.

We'll find out which of those scenarios it will be in about one hour when the ruling is read aloud in court.

[Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET] CNN anchor Becky Anderson reports there are barriers set up outside the entrance to the court holding back hundreds of camera crews and observers.

[Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET] The streets outside the court in Perugia, Italy are packed.

Journalists from hundreds of media outlets from around the world and members of the public have swarmed the area.

[Updated at 2:12 p.m. ET] When the ruling comes down it will be a decision made by eight jurors - six members of the public and two judges.

The judges take part and vote as part of the jury: their role is to guide but not to instruct the other jurors how to vote. The presiding judge, Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, who is also one of the jurors, will then read out the verdict.

[Updated at 2:04 p.m. ET] A van has left the prison where Amanda Knox an Raffaele Sollecito were being held while the jury deliberated.

It is believed Knox and Sollecito are in the convoy of vehicles that left the prison and en route back to the courthouse to hear the ruling.

Sollecito is normally not held in the same prison as Knox but was held there during the deliberations.

[Posted at 1:59 p.m. ET] An Italian jury has reached a decision on whether it will uphold or overturn the convictions of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

The ruling will be read at 3:30 p.m. ET (9:30 pm local time), the court said Monday.

The jury deliberated for nearly 10 hours before reaching their decision.

Knox and Sollecito, who returned to prison after speaking in court Monday morning, are likely to begin heading  back to the court in Perugia, Italy, now to hear their fate.

Nearly four years after she was arrested on suspicion of having killed her roommate in this picturesque Italian university town, Amanda Knox stood up in court and pleaded with a jury Monday to overturn her conviction.

"I am not what they say I am. I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal," Amanda Knox said, her voice trembling with emotion. She was making perhaps the most important speech of her life, and it showed.

Knox and co-defendant Sollecito have been fighting to be acquitted of the murder. Prosecutors have called for the pair's sentences - of 26 and 25 years, respectively - to be increased to life.

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Filed under: Amanda Knox • Crime • Italy • U.S. • Washington state
soundoff (2,309 Responses)
  1. TJ


    October 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. I know

    Im glad she's free. They never proved her guilty. Unlike Troy Davis who was never proven guilty. I wish her much happiness and success in restarting her life. And BTW, I do have a great appreciation for her angelic looks.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Willis

    So another murderer walks the streets in America. Amazing. Maybe someone can return the favor when she gets back to the states....

    October 3, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ba-Dur!

      You're not very bright are you?

      October 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Why do people like you make such stupid remarks, only GOD knows the truth and will handle it properly.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miranda

      Oh, Willis, just wanted to let you know you missed the verdict. She's innocent. You're welcome 🙂

      October 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. M Darius

    Here we go again , another O.J. set free!
    Deja vue!

    October 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ruth Tribue

      It's a very sad comeuppance when a stranger in a strange land is accused of any crime, because most countries don't look at the truth, just the stranger in the strange land. Iran proved that; not to say they were wrong they offered bond for the two guys. So that's to say you are living in a very small world and there must not be any good in that world. You speak as if you know truth but you don't understand justice, shame on you.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miranda

      How on earth can she be compared to OJ? OJ was a man of money and influence, Amanda was not. OJ's DNA was found at the crime scene, and nobody else's. Amanda's DNA was not found at the crime scene.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. maripoza67

    Get her the he** out of that country, man.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ruth Tribue

    Amanda, Well Done,HooRay!! It takes a lot of faith in one self as well as God to take the bull by the horns and tackle it to the ground. I'm proud of you. You have proven that there is fair justice in this world; where a person can be found guilty on suspected evidence only and a court is willing to correct that wrong. Only if we could have that same fairness here with our justice system. I appreciate you allowing us to view and support your fight. We all LOVE YOU , COME HOME.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Luca (Pg)

    I'm just saying that a poor girl was killed

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      I THINK YOU DID!!!

      October 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SAM

    Woha.. Who know's what happened . The beautiful gal that lost her life...It's with her. Bless her heart and soul Bless and prayers to her Family.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The ROMAN

    Italians did it again. How much Americans paid from Pope to B'Coni and to Judge to release murderer . These idiots talk about their bloody roman law in big but they have the most corrupted and the worst judicial system in the world. There are so many unsolved murder cases(i.e. Sara, Melania and Yara++++++) pending in Italy due to inefficiency and uneducated loosers in the legal system ,no wonder the Italy is the sinking ship in Europe. Biggest example whoever follows america ends-up loosing everything????????????

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don't Believe It

      Not even sure what you're trying to say...a murderer wasn't set free; an innocent woman wrongly convicted by a joke of a legal system. Italy no longer needs Jersey Shore to make it look bad; your own justice system and the stupid italians interviewed on tv by BBC are making Italians look stupid enough. No wonder Italy is a joke. LOL @ Italy.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosie Deus-von Homeyer

      tHE American Criminal law is ALSO BASED on the ancient ROMAN law.I know it,because I studied it in Berkeley,California.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daisy

      ???????? Are you crazy? YOU ARE IDIOT, not italians! you Are A patetic crazy racist.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      Rudy is in jail, that's the killer.

      I don't know what you mean about Italians following Americans, Italians love to insult Americans.

      I don't see them as being close or following anyone.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kulishof

    I do not know if she is innocent of guilty. I think she is only STUPID. Only a stupid can play the part of the "femme fatale" as she did, make the cartwheel in the police office while waiting to be questioned, and, what is worse, try to destroy the life of a poor guy (Lumumba). Now she is a star and we are going to see her in every talk show on both sides of the Atlantic, she will write a book, or perhaps more, and will make a shameful amount of money. Why not making another movie with her and the other stupid of the story, Sollecito, as protagonists? And by the way, in case she had not been acquitted, CNN had another attack to the Italian justice ready, with the guy who spoke about the crucifix in the court room. Disgusting!!! This comes after I do not how many reports, articles, books, etc. describing Amanda "poor angel" Knox caught into the trap of a medieval system of justice. But now that she is free, since she is American everything is hunky dory, right? And not a word for the Kercher family. To quote the words of the croud outside the court: CNN, vergogna! (shame!).

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      Could it be that just maybe none of what you said had anything to do with locking someone up for 26 years?

      So judgmental, pray someone doesn't judge you!

      An angry family sometimes just wants everyone to pay for their loss. I respect that but get the right people with the right evidence.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • The quacking duck

      Nicely said kulishof!!!

      October 3, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • None

      Oh shut up. You're Itallian and you think that way of her is because she was demonized and never given a truly fair trial. Seriously, get over yourself.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cindy

    Im so glad shes coming home! I thought for sure they would evict her because she is from the good ole States. I am so glad for her and her family. God Bless all us Americans!

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • The quacking duck

      So if she aint from the good old america, she is likely to be a murderer?

      October 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • marley

      Your comment is very strange .. it suggests that americans can not be killers because .. they're americans . A person has been killed and it's very sad to read people's comments . Did you at least read the Massei report before taking her defense ? Again the money talks and people believes everything that has been dictated by the media

      October 3, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |

    I, for one, am an American who will not blindly support someone just because he or she is American.

    The Italian court has been lambasted again and again by American commenters who have little understanding of it, but are simply regurgitating what [American] news outlets have decided. Now, I'm sure, people will quickly change their tune and applaud Italy for allowing "justice to be served."

    I feel so terrible for Meredith's family. Meredith suffered a horrible death and for her to be so dishonored by the media's obsession with Amanda...disgusting. Meredith was the true victim.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • charlotte

      I agree. I feel real compassion for the victims family. Because of the poor job done by the police they will never find peace. How can they? Even though the evidence support only the black man as the perpetrator, the family can never know for sure. Sad.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laiyla

      Did any of you not follow this case???? There was no motive or DNA evidence! The 2 independent investigators found STARCH and BREAD on the knife which was suppose to be the condemning evidence. There was NO BLOOD as the prosecutors stated. If anything the Prosecutor should be locked up for incompetence. You should not be able to lock people up over how you think they should and shouldn't respond or react in serious situations. I guess because I didn't cry at my father's funeral in front of everyone I must have hated him and therefore be cut off from my siblings. Geesh

      October 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The quacking duck

    There is something that is confusing me about her. What i would like to know, is why did she change her story several times when she was interrogated, and why was her phone turned off for a couple of hours during the time of the murder? And if she wasnt there, like she says, where was she and who might have been with her.
    Although i dont think she is the murderer, i feel she knows something about it, or might have been there when it happened or had something to do with it except committing the actaul crime itself.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • charlotte

      Have you ever consider the language barrier at the time....or the fact the police could have deliberately misrepresented what she was saying...just a thought.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES

      > Have you ever consider the language barrier at the time
      The language excuse is getting old. Only americans who dont' speak foreign languages would buy it. Her language couldn't have been that bad if she understood the questions. Italian is one of the easiest languages. Plus, there must've been people speaking english at the police station. This is not South Korea, after all.

      October 3, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Peter

    Is it just me, or all the sensational big murder cases got their suspects acquitted? O.J., Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony...You name it.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. kara

    There is not enough evidence to convince Knox, it doesn't mean she is innocent. I would also claim innocence if I was guilty of a crime, who would like to spend their life behind jail? RIP Meredith, the real victim of this tragedy that people forgot.

    October 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
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