- (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)
Amanda Knox has tearfully pled her innocence in the murder of Meredith Kercher, her British roommate, before an Italian appeals court Monday.
“I am innocent,” Knox declared. “I have paid with my life for things I did not commit.”
She added, “I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal. I was not there at the time."
Knox stressed that she was not the person prosecutors painted her to be.
"I am not who they say I am, the perversion, the violence, the lack of respect for life, and I did not do the things they say I did,” Knox stated.
Amanda Knox was found guilty in 2009 for the murder of Meredith Kercher, who was killed during a drug-influenced sex game that went awry. Knox’s Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, was also jailed for his involvement in Kercher’s death.
Prosecutors are looking to increase Knox’s 26-year sentence to a life term.
However, her attorneys argued that the DNA evidence against the 24-year-old is highly flawed, following a forensics review which cast a shadow of doubt on the traces of DNA found on a kitchen knife and Kercher’s bra clasp.
“If you have any doubt about the DNA evidence, you must set her free,” Knox’s lawyers urged the six jurors last week.
“I want to go back home,” Knox addressed the court in Italian. “I want to go back to my life. I do not want my life taken away for something that I did not do because I am innocent.”
“I’ve lost a friend in the worst, most brutal, most inexplicable way possible,” she said of the 2007 murder.
Sollecito also alleged his innocence during his statement, which he presented just before Knox. He asserted that he never accused Knox of the murder and that the claim was “totally untrue,” The Associated Press reported.
According to Sollecito, his conviction was a “nightmare” that he can’t seem to wake up from.
The six jurors and two judges who have heard the arguments presented by both sides are expected to reach a verdict 2 p.m. EST at the earliest.