The mother of an American student accused of killing her British roommate in Italy said Friday that her daughter and the victim "got along great" and that her daughter never considered leaving Italy after the slaying.
Amanda Knox is on trial on charges of murder and sexual violence in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, central Italy.
Her mother, Edda Mellas, took the stand for two hours on Friday, testifying that there were no problems between her daughter and Kercher.
"They got along great," Mellas told the eight-member jury, speaking in a soft, unemotional voice. "She told me about the fun things she and Meredith did," she said, without elaborating.
Last week, Knox testified she was shocked by the death of Kercher, whom she considered her friend. This contrasted with previous testimony by other witnesses that Kercher had complained about Knox's bathroom habits and had expressed surprise at her apparent promiscuity.
Knox is on trial together with her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Both deny wrongdoing.
Three phone calls
Mellas also testified about three phone calls she received from Knox on Nov. 2, 2007, the morning Kercher's body was found in her bedroom.
"In her first call, she said she thought somebody was in the house," Mellas said.
Last week, Knox recalled going home that morning to find the front door open. She said she took a shower and saw blood in one of the apartment's bathrooms.
The second and third calls were made after Kercher's body was discovered, Mellas said.
"She was very upset, it was disturbing," Mellas said.
Speaking in English through an interpreter, Mellas, who works as a teacher in Seattle, testified Knox never thought of going back to the United States before she was arrested, shortly after the slaying.
"She insisted on staying here," to help authorities and continue her studies, Mellas said.
She and her daughter exchanged looks during the mother's testimony.
Knox's father, Curt Knox, told the CBS "Early Show" from Seattle that his ex-wife's testimony would strengthen his daughter's case. He said the telephone conversations would help understanding of "the shock that Amanda had after learning that a body was found and that being Meredith in her room."
Knox and Sollecito have been jailed for over a year and a half. They could face Italy's stiffest punishment, life imprisonment, if convicted of murder.
Sollecito's dad: He wouldn't 'hurt a fly'
Also on Friday, Sollecito's father testified his son was never violent and would not "hurt a fly."
Francesco Sollecito also told the court that his son liked to carry "small knives" in his pockets, a habit he picked up when he was younger.
Kercher was stabbed in the neck.
Prosecutors say that a kitchen knife found at Sollecito's apartment is compatible with Kercher's wounds. The knife had the victim's DNA on the blade and Knox's on the handle.
Police have testified that Sollecito carried a different knife to the police station after the killing.
Sex game allegations
Prosecutors believe Knox, Sollecito and a third person already convicted in a separate trial went to Kercher's home the night of the murder and killed the British woman in what began as a sex game.
Sollecito, 25, has said he was at his own apartment the entire night of Nov. 1. He said he does not remember if Knox spent the whole night with him or just part of it.
Knox said she spent the night at Sollecito's apartment and went back to her place the following morning.
Both suspects have been jailed since shortly after the slaying.
The third person involved, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, denied wrongdoing but was convicted of murder last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison.