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After four years behind bars, an Italian appeals court freed 24-year-old Amanda Knox from the remainder of her 26-year sentence.
Knox was found guilty in 2009, along with Raffaele Sollecito, of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith Kercher, Knox’s British roommate. Kercher, 21, was found stabbed to death in her bedroom and covered by a duvet in 2007. Knox appeared extremely unsettled and on the verge of tears before learning of the jury’s decision, as she sat anxiously awaiting their verdict.
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Knox was still found guilty of defamation for falsely implicating a local bar owner with the murder, for which she was sentenced to three years in custody and monetary reimbursement for his legal costs. Having already served four years, Knox was able to walk free on Monday, Oct. 3. The jury has 90-days to deliver the reasoning.
During her courtroom address earlier that day, Knox brought the jury and several journalists to tears.
“I’m paying with my life for things that I didn’t do,” Knox said in Italian while fighting back tears and occasionally pausing to catch her breath, CBS News reports.
“She had her bedroom next to mine, she was killed in our own apartment. If I had been there that night, I would be dead,” Knox said. “But I was not there.”
“I did not kill. I did not rape. I did not steal. I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there at the crime,” Knox went on. “I insist I’m innocent and that must be defended. I just want to go home, go back to my life.”
Knox was the subject of a Lifetime original movie earlier this year, where she was portrayed by actress Hayden Panettiere.
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