Nightly News   |  September 30, 2011

Amanda Knox trial approaching conclusion

Amanda Knox walked into an Italian courtroom Friday for what may be one of the last times. Within days an appeals court could decide whether to throw out her conviction and set her free. NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a sensational case nearing what could be a very dramatic final act. 24-year-old amanda knox was an american student in italy in 2007 when her roommate was brutally murdered. convicted of the crime, she was sentenced to 26 years in prison. now, her appeal of that verdict and the sentence has put the italian justice system on trial as well. today the appeals court heard final arguments in her case and nbc's lester holt was there.

>> reporter: amanda knox walked into an italian courtroom today for what may be one of the last times. within days, an appeals court could decide whether to throw out her conviction and set her free. knox and her italian former boyfriend were convicted in the brutal 2007 killing along with this man, an african immigrant who already lost his appeal. today, the lead prosecutor in his final rebuttal suggested amanda knox wants to leave that man, rudy guede , holding the bag. she could go free, said the lead prosecutor, and once again the black guy will pay.

>> the racist theme has emerged during the closing statements. very interesting.

>> reporter: prosecutors say the killing was the result of a drug-fuelled sex game , but their strongest evidence, supposed dna on a knife and bra clasp, was discredited by court-appointed experts, giving renewed hope to knox 's family.

>> alls we are doing is trying to support our daughter and trying to have the truth come out and have her come home.

>> reporter: court observer american attorney alex gutierrez says it's as if the italian justice system is now on trial.

>> they feel that they are being attacked as to the way they conducted their investigation. instead of attacking amanda they are justifying their actions.

>> reporter: prosecutors and attorneys suing knox have attacked her as everything from a she-devil to a diabolical liar. as the judge overseeing it all guides this case toward what is expected to be an emotional finish. as it stands now, amanda knox will get the final word when she addresses this court on monday. after that, two jujs and a jury of six will require to decide her fate.