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Judge denies bail for American in Italy slaying

An Italian judge ruled Wednesday that an American college student and her former Italian boyfriend will remain jailed while awaiting trial in the killing of the woman's British apartment mate.
Image: Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito
Combination file photo shows Amanda Knox (left) of the U.S. and Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, suspects in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher last year, arriving with penitentiary police to a court Sept. 26 hearing in Perugia. Daniele La Monaca / Reuters file
/ Source: The Associated Press

An Italian judge ruled Wednesday that an American woman and her former Italian boyfriend will remain jailed while awaiting trial in the killing of the woman's British apartment mate, lawyers said.

Judge Paolo Micheli rejected requests by the defense to grant house arrest to both Amanda Knox, a college student from Seattle, and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito of Italy. Their trial is scheduled to start Dec. 4.

Micheli indicted the two suspects Tuesday on charges of murder and sexual violence in the slaying of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher, who was found stabbed in the neck Nov. 2 in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia.

Both Knox and Sollecito have denied wrongdoing.

Defense lawyers had proposed Knox be held at a community for recovering drug addicts and young offenders run by a Roman Catholic charity near Perugia. Prosecutors argued she was likely to flee.

"We would take anything to get her out of prison," Knox's father, Curt, told The Associated Press by telephone before the decision.

Prosecutors: Sex game gone bad
Francesco Maresca, a lawyer for Kercher's family, said the judge turned down a request for bail in a 17-page ruling. He did not give the judge's reasoning.

The long legal saga of Amanda Knox, an American student accused of the violent death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, has made headlines around the world since it began in Perugia, Italy, in late 2007.

Knox, 21, and Sollecito, 24, have been in custody for almost a year. Sollecito is being held in the nearby city of Terni and Knox is in Perugia.

In addition to ordering their trial Tuesday, the judge convicted a third suspect — Rudy Hermann Guede of Ivory Coast — on the same charges and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. Guede, who also denied any wrongdoing, asked for a fast-track trial.

Prosecutors say Kercher died during what began as a sex game. Sollecito is accused of holding Kercherr by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife and Guede tried to sexually assault her. Prosecutors say Knox then fatally stabbed Kercher in the throat.

Guede, 21, admitted being in the house, but denied taking any part in the killing, saying he was in the bathroom when Kercher was attacked. He said he fled Italy after the slaying because he was frightened.

Sollecito has said he was in his own apartment at the time of the killing and doesn't remember if Knox spent part or all of that night with him.

Knox initially told investigators she was in the apartment when Kercher was killed and covered her ears against the victim's screams. Later, Knox said she wasn't in the house.