Injustice in Perugia
a website detailing the wrongful conviction of Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito


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September 20, 2007: Amanda Knox moves into the cottage at 7 Via del pergola in Perugia, Italy, and meets Meredith Kercher, who is renting the bedroom next to Amanda's.

October 25, 2007: Amanda meets Italian graduate student Raffaele Sollecito at a classical music concert.

November 2, 2007: Meredith Kercher is found dead in the house in Perugia, Italy, that she shared with Amanda Knox. Her body is partially clothed, and she has been stabbed in the throat.

November 2-5, 2007: Amanda and Raffaele are repeatedly questioned for long hours by police, and have their phone and other conversations recorded, although the police overhear nothing that indicates any involvement in the murder.

November 5 & 6, 2007: Late on the evening of the 5th, Amanda and Raffaele are detained for questioning. Amanda allegedly confesses to being at her home when Meredith was killed and implicates Patrick Lumumba, the owner of a bar where she worked, saying he was there at the same time, and she has visions of him killing Meredith. Amanda, Raffaele, and Patrick are all arrested for Meredith's murder. On the morning of the 6th, Amanda writes her "gift note" to police, trying to explain her confused statements of the night before. Amanda's mother arrives from Perugia that morning from the United States.

November 9, 2007: Judge Claudia Matteini rules that the three suspects can be held for up to a year while the investigation continues.

November 15, 2007: Police report finding DNA on a kitchen knife belonging to Raffaele Sollecito, with Amanda Knox's DNA on the handle and Meredith Kercher's on the blade. The battle over the legitimacy of this DNA continues 5 years later -- the forensic experts from Amanda and Raffaele's appeal trial declared it unusable as evidence, while the police scientists have continued to claim it could be the murder weapon.

November 19, 2007: A fourth suspect is named as Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, a resident of Perugia originally from the Ivory Coast.

November 20, 2007: Rudy Guede is arrested in the German city of Mainz after traveling without a ticket on a train bound for Frankfurt. Patrick Lumumba is released after two weeks in prison when his alibi is corroborated. A Swiss professor told police that he was talking to Lumumba in his bar, Le Chic, for most of the evening.

December 6, 2007: Rudy Guede is extradited to Italy. A vaginal swab taken from Kercher matches DNA from Guede. Guede admits to police that he had sexual relations with Kercher but says another man killed her while he was in the bathroom.

December 18, 2007: Police return to the cottage 46 days after the murder, and find Meredith Kercher's severed bra clasp under a pile of debris in her bedroom.

July 11, 2008:  Italian prosecutors formally charge Knox, Guede and Sollecito with murder.

September 9, 2008: Rudy Guede asks for a separate fast-track trial, choosing not to be tried together with Amanda and Raffaele. 

October 28, 2008: Judge Micheli sentences Rudy Guede to 30 years for the murder of Meredith Kercher. (The sentence is reduced to 16 years on appeal in December 2009.) He also orders Knox and Sollecito to stand trial for murder and sexual violence.

30 October, 2008: Judge Micheli rules that Amanda and Raffaele will remain in prison while they await trial.

January 16, 2009: Amanda and Raffaele's murder trial begins. The case draws worldwide media attention.

June 12, 2009: Amanda testifies that during police interrogations that she was confused and that interrogators pressured her, called her a "stupid liar" and hit her in the head, despite police denials that this happened (they claim they were firm, but polite, and did not strike her). She also says some of her actions that made her look bad when described by the press were taken the wrong way. She adds that she was in shock after the murder, and that her behavior was not out of the ordinary under the circumstances.

September 27, 2009: Final witnesses are heard in the trial.

December 4, 2009: The jury finds Amanda and Raffaele guilty on all counts in the stabbing death of Meredith Kercher. Amanda gets a 26-year sentence; Raffaele gets 25 years.

December 5, 2008: The Knox/Mellas family say they will immediately begin the process of appealing the verdict.

March 10, 2009: Giancarlo Massei, the lead judge in the first trial, releases the motivation report, a 427 page document explaining the rationale for the convictions.

June 1, 2010: Amanda Knox appears briefly in Italian court to face slander charges for saying that Italian police beat her during an interrogation. She said police used the threat of physical violence to intimidate and pressure her, which led her to falsely accuse Patrick Lumumba of Kercher's murder, but officials deny these allegations.

November 24, 2010: Amanda and Raffaele's murder appeal begins. The hearing lasts about 15 minutes before the judge adjourns until December 11 because one of the lawyers is not present. Knox's lawyer Luciano Ghirga tells reporters that rather than prosecutors having to prove she is guilty, "we have to prove her innocence, which is more difficult to do."

December 11, 2010: Amanda Knox speaks in court for about 15 minutes and breaks down in tears. She says that she and Raffaele Sollecito are innocent and unjustly accused. "I've been condemned for the crime I did not commit," Knox says, adding that court has made "a huge mistake."

December 16, 2010: Italy's highest criminal court upholds Rudy Guede's conviction and prison sentence, which was slashed to 16 years in his first appeal.

January 22, 2011: Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti, two forensic experts from Rome's La Sapienza University, are sworn in as independent experts and will retest crucial forensic evidence used to convict Amanda and Raffaele. They will take a second look at a knife, and the clasp from Kercher's bra, which was torn from her body during the attack. Results from the tests are expected in May.

February 15, 2011: Amanda Knox's parents are indicted for allegedly libeling police in Perugia, Amanda's mother and the family's attorney say. Curt Knox and Edda Mellas are accused of defaming the police in comments to the Sunday Times of London in a 2009 interview. 

February 21, 2011: The made-for-television movie, Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, airs on the Lifetime Network in the U.S.. The film is objected to by the Knox, Sollecito and Kercher families. 

June 27, 2011: Rudy Guede is called to testify at Amanda and Raffaele's appeal trial, but the judge severely limits what he can be questioned on, citing Italian law. Amanda and Raffaele are not allowed to address Rudy directly or speak until Rudy leaves the courtroom. The prosecutor reads a letter purportedly written by Guede that said that Guede thought Knox and Sollecito had killed Kercher. Amanda gives emotional testimony after Guede speaks, saying she is "shocked" at what he said. "The only time that Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito and I were in one room together was in a courtroom. ... He knows what the truth is. I don't know what happened that night," she told the court.

June 29, 2011: Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti, the forensic specialists appointed by the court, deliver their opinion that DNA evidence linking Amanda and Raffaele to the murder is unreliable, and should not be used as evidence against them.

July 4, 2011: The judge in the libel case against Amanda's parents resigns because he was involved in the trial of Amanda and Raffaele. Paolo Micheli says he will recuse himself.

July 25, 2011: Court-appointed experts testify that police forensic scientists involved in the murder case made a series of glaring errors during their investigation. In a point-by-point deconstruction, the experts say that because of the errors made by police during the original investigation, the evidence against Amanda and Raffaele should be considered "inadmissible."

September 5, 2011: Prosecutors fighting to keep Amanda and Raffaele behind bars defend the DNA tests. As the appeal nears its end, Meredith's sister urges people not to get caught up in the details but to "please remember our beautiful Meredith."

September 6, 2011: Italian state police forensic expert Patrizia Stefanoni defends the methods and equipment used in DNA tests for the investigation. She says the machine used for the DNA examination was clean and rejects suggestions that Meredith Kercher's bra clasp had been contaminated.

September 7, 2011: Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman rejects a prosecution request for new DNA testing. He also turns down prosecution requests to introduce newly found records about the DNA tests and to hear a new witness. Amanda's father, Curt, hails the rulings as "very good news for Amanda." The hearing is adjourned until September 23.

October 3, 2011: Amanda and Raffaele give dramatic speaches to the court, pleading for their freedom. Both emphatically deny killing Meredith Kercher, and say they have been unjustly accused.

The Hellmann appeal court jury announces their verdict, declaring Amanda and Raffaele innocent of the murder. Amanda is, however, judged guilty of falsely accusing Patrick Lumumba, and sentenced to 3 years in jail (she has already been in jail for 4 years). Judge Hellmann orders Amanda and Raffaele released immediately.

As Amanda returns to the prison to gather her belongings and finish paperwork, the inmates cheer at the news of her release.

October 4, 2011: Amanda and her family leave Italy and return to her home city of Seattle, Washington. Raffaele returns to his family home in Bari, in southern Italy.

December 16, 2011: Judge Hellmann releases the motivation report detailing the reasons for overturning Amanda and Raffaele's murder convictions. The report dismisses almost all evidence against them as weak, and is sharply critical of the verdict in the trial of first instance.

February 17, 2012: Amanda Knox signs a deal with HarperCollins to write a memoir about her trial, conviction and acquittal for murder. The book, based in part on journals she keptwhile in prison, will give never-before heard details about her "harrowing experience" while in custody there, the publisher says. The book is scheduled to be released on April 30, 2013, and the ABC network will air a Prime Time television interview with Amanda that evening.

September 18, 2012: Raffaele releases his book, Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, telling the story of his relationship with Amanda, his arrest, trials, and time in jail. The title of the book reflects his resolve to refuse to lie and betray Amanda, even if it would have made it easier on him.

September 19, 2012: Raffaele begins a series of US television interviews to promote the release of his book, Honor Bound, including interviews with Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, and Peter Van Zant.

March 26, 2013: Italian Supreme Court judges rule that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito should stand trial again for the death of her former roommate in Italy. Amanda's lawyer said the 25-year-old was "upset and surprised because we thought that the case was over" but was ready to fight to prove her innocence.

April 30, 2013: Amanda's book, Waiting to be Heard, is released in the United States by Harper Collins. She sits down for an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer.

September 30, 2013:  Appeal for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito begins in Florence, Italy. 

January 30, 2014: The appeals court in Florence reinstates the guilty verdicts for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. 

April 29, 2014: The Florence court releases a motivation document explaining the decision. Amanda and Raffaele  appeal the guilty verdicts to the Italian Supreme Court.

March 27, 2015: Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are fully exonerated by the Italian Supreme Court.