Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy's highest court

Amanda Knox REUTERS/Andrew KellyAmanda Knox sits alone before being interviewed on the set of ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ in New York January 31, 2014.

Italy’s highest court has cleared Amanda Knox of the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher, BBC News is reporting. Knox’s ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, has also been cleared.

The murder case went to Italy’s high court after an appeals court found Knox, 27, guilty of the killing last year. Kercher was found dead in the apartment she shared with Knox while studying abroad in Italy in 2007. She had more than 40 stab wounds on her body and her throat slit.

Last year’s conviction wasn’t the first for Knox. She and Sollecito were first found guilty of the murder in 2009. They were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively, for the murder, but the legal saga didn’t end there.

Under the rules of the Italian justice system, if either side is unhappy with a verdict, they can appeal. It’s possible for verdicts to be upheld and overturned multiple times before appeals are exhausted.

Knox is currently free in the US and previously said that if she were convicted, she would “become a fugitive.” She spent four years in prison in Italy during the trial and after the initial guilty verdict was handed down.

During the first trial, Italian prosecutors claimed that Knox and Sollecito killed Kercher during a sex game gone wrong. A third person, drifter Rudy Guede, has also been convicted of Kercher’s murder. Prosecutors allege that he worked in conjunction with Knox and Sollecito.

A court overturned Knox and Sollecito’s guilty verdicts in 2011 after they appealed their convictions, but a higher court rejected the acquittals and demanded a retrial, which led to the 2014 conviction.

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