As the closing arguments begin in the contentious legal battle, NewsFeed presents the names and faces you need to know.
On Sep. 23, convicted murderers Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito entered the final stage of their appeal as lawyers began presenting their closing arguments in a Perugia courtroom. With the verdict expected to come in early October, NewsFeed takes a look at the people involved in a trial that has gripped Italy—and the world.
Meredith Kercher, a 21-year old exchange student from the University of Leeds in England, shared an apartment with Amanda Knox and two other women in Perugia. She was murdered the evening of Nov. 1, 2007, and her body was discovered the next morning. She was semi-naked and her throat had been cut.
Speaking with Italian TV show ‘Porta a Porta’ on Sep. 22, 2011, Kercher’s younger sister Stephanie said she worried about forgetting what her sister looked like and criticized the media’s focus on the defendants. “In these four years, Meredith has been completely forgotten,” she said. “There’s not much Meredith in the media. There aren’t photos of her in the media. The focus has completely moved away from Meredith to Amanda and Raffaele.”
p>In 2007, Amanda Knox, then a student at the University of Washington, came to Perugia to study Italian at the University for Foreigners. She says that on Nov. 1, the night her roommate Meredith Kerchner died, she was sleeping with her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito at his house. Police began questioning Knox on Nov. 5 at 11pm. The interviews were conducted in Italian—a language Knox had only been studying for two months. She was arrested the next morning.Relatives say that Knox has lost much of her spirit since being convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison. But she’s become fluent in Italian, participates in the prison choir and practices the classical guitar. She retains hope that recently discredited DNA evidence will lead to her acquittal.