Video: Amanda Knox’s trial resumes

updated 3/14/2009 11:40:10 AM ET 2009-03-14T15:40:10

A police officer dealt an apparent blow to the alibi of a young Italian man on trial for the sexual murder of a British student when he testified Saturday that there was no sign of the defendant using his computer during the hours the woman was stabbed to death.

Tests on student Raffaele Sollecito's computer found that nobody had worked on it in some eight hours spanning the night when Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death in her bedroom,  officer Marco Trotta, a prosecution witness, told an Italian court.

Sollecito, 24, and Amanda Knox, his 21-year-old former American girlfriend, are on trial on charges of murder and sexual violence in the slaying of Kercher in 2007 in the Umbrian university town of Perugia. Both defendants deny any wrongdoing.

Sollecito has maintained he was at his own apartment the night of the murder, working on his computer.

Trotta showed the court videos detailing technical simulations his team carried out on Sollecito's computer, saying there was "no human interaction" between 9:10 p.m. Nov. 1, 2007, and 5:32 a.m. Nov. 2, 2007.

Kercher's body, stabbed in the neck and lying in a pool of blood in a bedroom of the apartment she shared with Knox, was found in the late morning of Nov. 2.

Based on the autopsy and accounts by Kercher's friends of when she ate dinner with them the night before, the woman is believed to have died between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Nov. 1, according to court documents.

Knox: 'Worried and confused'
Luca Maori, one of Sollecito's lawyers, said the defense will challenge the computer findings and insisted in remarks to reporters that his client "stayed at home" during that night.

Knox's Italian professor in Perugia, Antonella Negri, also told the court in Perugia Saturday that the U.S. student wrote an essay in the form of a letter a few days after Kercher's death.

"She wrote a letter to her mother, describing her mood. She was worried and confused and she wanted her mother to travel to Perugia so she could distract herself and they could go shopping together," Negri told the court.

The professor described Knox as "a good student, intelligent and willing."

Knox, a University of Washington student, was on an exchange program in Italy and sharing a flat in a rented house with Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Leeds University in England.

Prosecutors allege that Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game, with Sollecito holding her by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They say a third man, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, tried to sexually assault Kercher and then Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat.

Guede, who also denied any wrongdoing, was convicted of murder in a separate trial last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Knox's DNA was on the handle of a knife found at Sollecito's house that might have been used in the slaying, and the victim's DNA was found on the blade.

More on: Amanda Knox

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