Amanda Knox rejected an Italian court's contention Tuesday that she slit her British roommate's throat, saying there was still no credible evidence that she was involved in the 2007 murder.
"I want to state again today what I have said throughout this process: I am innocent of the accusation against me," Knox said in a statement Tuesday after the Florence court that convicted her of the killing of Meredith Kercher released a 337-page explanation for its decision to reinstate guilty verdicts against her and her former boyfriend in January.
The judges' announcement Tuesday means the verdict can go back on appeal to the Supreme Court of Cassation. If it confirms the convictions, a long extradition fight is expected for Knox, who has been in the U.S. since 2011, when an earlier conviction was overturned.
The judges said Kercher, 21, was killed by multiple attackers, including Knox's boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, and small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede. But it was Knox "who lashed the deadly wound to the throat" shortly after the women had a heated argument about money, they said.
The fight with Kercher became increasingly aggressive, the court said, adding that the group had gathered to use drugs before the 2007 murder.
The judges also concluded that Kercher was stabbed by "two different knives," one of which was held by Knox — although it said Sollecito and Guede were equally responsible for the murder.
"Meredith was immobilized and was unable to put up any useful resistance due to the fact that she was overpowered by a number of aggressors and simultaneously stabbed with the blades," they said.
Kercher was found dead in a pool of blood in the apartment she and Knox shared in the Italian university town of Perugia. Knox and Sollecito were found guilty of murder in 2008 and sentenced to 26 years in prison but served only four years before the sentences were overturned.
In March 2013, Italy's highest court dismissed that acquittal — slamming the lower court for "contradictions and inconsistencies" in its decision. At a new trial in January, the pair were convicted again.
Knox said Tuesday that the appeals court's reasoning failed to account for the absence of her DNA in Kercher's room and for the lack of any other "reliable forensic evidence."
"In fact, in the prior proceeding in which I was found innocent, the court specifically concluded that the forensic evidence did not support my alleged participation in the crime and further found that the circumstantial evidence was both unreliable and contrary to a conclusion of guilt," she said.
— Henry Austin and M. Alex Johnson with The Associated Press
First published April 29 2014, 8:08 AM