Meredith Kercher murder jury retires

The jury trying Meredith Kercher murder suspects Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito retired today to consider its verdicts.

American Knox, 22, from Seattle, and her Italian former lover Sollecito, 25, are accused by prosecutors of killing the Leeds University student in Perugia, Italy, after what allegedly started as a sex game.



As the end of the long trial approached, Knox's sister, Deanna Knox, said she was nervous about the outcome and had spent a sleepless night.



She said: "The time is going to go by so slowly after we leave here today and the wait is going to be awful but from what I've seen of the jury I wouldn't think it will be really, really long.



"I know they're going to take their time and really, really think about it but it has been a year long and I think they pretty much know what's going on by now so hopefully it comes out our way.



"I've got all my hopes in it and all I want to do is take her home so I've got a good feeling about it. I'm still nervous, but good feeling."



Knox's father, Curt Knox, said too that he was hopeful.



"I believe in her innocence," he said. "I believe our attorneys have more than presented evidence that would show that she's innocent.



"The judge and the jury have a big task ahead of them. They've got two kids' life in their hands."



The semi-naked body of Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found in a pool of blood with her throat slit in her room in Perugia in November 2007.



She had been sharing a house with Knox, who was also a student, on her year abroad in the Umbrian hilltop town.



Prosecutors say that Sollecito held her down while Knox stabbed her to death.



Miss Kercher's family is due to arrive in Perugia in time for verdicts, which are expected to be delivered today or tomorrow.



A third person, Rudy Guede, 22, from the Ivory Coast, has already been convicted of murder and sexual violence and sentenced to 30 years in jail.



But prosecutors say he was only one of three killers who acted together, under "the fumes of drugs and possibly alcohol".



Knox addressed the court in Perugia, Italy, yesterday in a voice trembling with emotion.



Fighting back tears, she told the eight jurors in Italian that she did not want to be branded an assassin.



But she showed no anger towards the prosecutors who have requested a life sentence for her.



She said: "They are trying to do their job, even if they can't understand."





Knox, who has been behind bars for two years, told the court people often asked her how she managed to stay so calm.

She said: "The first thing to say is that I am not calm. I am afraid of being defined as something I am not and by actions that are not mine.



"I'm afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced on to my skin."



She said she was "confused, sad, frustrated" about being kept in jail for two years.



But she remained "confident and certain in what I know," she said.



She had tried, she added, to find the positive side of the situation.



"I don't get depressed," she said. "In these situations, I grieve and try to find the positives in important moments."



Sollecito also addressed the court yesterday, saying that no motive had emerged for his alleged role in the murder.



He said: "I am not violent, I never have been. I wasn't at the house (where Miss Kercher lived and died) that night."



But prosecutor Manuela Comodi argued that "we live in an age of violence with no motive".



She often asked herself why Knox and Sollecito murdered Miss Kercher, she said, but suggested that the reason was a mystery.



"We don't know what sparks these things," she said.



She cited DNA evidence allegedly linking Sollecito to the crime and wrapped a white bra around a microphone in the courtroom to demonstrate how his DNA could have ended up on Miss Kercher's bra strap and not on the rest of the bra.



Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, vowed the family would continue to battle for her daughter's freedom if she was convicted.



"If she is found guilty we will carry on fighting," she said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect