Amanda Knox Case Update: Meredith Kercher Roommate’s Ex-Boyfriend Requests Separate Appeals Trial, Says He Is ‘Guilty By Association’ [VIDEO]
As they gear up for their final appeals trial in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito could be tried separately for the crime.
Sollecito's defense team has reportedly requested on his behalf that he be either tried separately from his former girlfriend on the trial as a whole, or, at the very least, on the issue of her so-called "false confession" in the case, The Daily Beast reports.
At the time of Kercher's murder in 2007, Knox had falsely confessed that she didn't murder her roommate in their Perugia, Italy villa, but had been in the home hiding while her boss, Patrick Lumumba, slit Kercher's throat. The confession was later retracted and has been a fine point in every ruling against both Knox and Sollecito since.
Now, his legal team has asked that he be judged independently of Knox when it comes to that false confession, because he has been convicted every time based on guilt by association.
"Sollecito was found responsible solely because of the 'force of connection' generated by the position of Amanda Knox, and ultimately convicted for a motive alien to him and a 'confession' attributable solely to his co-accused (which, mind you, she never placed her former boyfriend at the scene of the crime)," his lawyer's statements for the appeals trial read.
The two will face the judge either later this year or in early 2015.
Knox, Sollecito and a third man, Rudy Guede, were all arrested in connection to Kercher's death back in 2007. While Guede was convicted of murder and given a 16-year sentence, Knox and Sollecito pleaded not guilty and served four years in an Italian prison before their convictions were overturned in 2011.
However, in January of this year, the Italian Court reconvicted Knox and Sollectio at a trial that was reportedly focused on DNA evidence. Sollecito received a 25-year sentence, while Knox was hit with a 28-year one.
The Nencini report, which detailed the reason behind Knox and Sollecito's reconvictions, was released in April, and also detailed other reasons outside of reported DNA evidence for the decision, including the presence of multiple knife wounds on Kercher's body that left reason for prosecutors to believe that multiple assailants were involved, as well as reports that Kercher and Knox had quarreled over money on the day of the murder.
After the findings were released, Knox appeared on CNN to maintain her innocence again, saying that the motives were all false.
"I did not kill my friend," she said. "I did not wield a knife, I had no reason to. In the month that we were living together, we were becoming friends. A week before the murder occurred we went out to a classical music concert together. We never fought."
She also reiterated that the lack of DNA evidence at the crime scene further proved that both she and Sollecito were not involved.
"There is no trace of us. If Rudy Guede committed this crime, which he did, we know that because his DNA's there, on Meredith's body, around Meredith's body, his handprints and footprints in her blood," she said. "None of that exists for me, and if I were there, I would have had traces of Meredith's broken body on me, and I would have left traces of myself around Meredith's corpse, and I am not there, and that proves my innocence."
Now that the reasoning for the reconvictions has been released, the verdict has officially been opened to appeals by both Knox and Sollecito. However, if the Supreme Court of Cassation confirms the convictions, Sollecito, who is still in Italy, will be brought to prison.
Knox, who resides in Seattle, Wash., could then become the focus of a potentially long extradition fight between the U.S. and Italy.