Posted Jan 30, 2014 10:05 pm CST
Updated: Convicted again—along with her Italian ex-boyfriend—Thursday by an Italian court in the 2007 slaying of her former roommate in that country, onetime American exchange student Amanda Knox wasn’t there to hear the verdict.
Knox, 26, has awaited the outcome of the retrial here in the U.S., and she has said she would not return to Italy from her home in Seattle if convicted, CNN reports. It does not appear likely that the sentence she received today of more than 28 years will encourage her to do so.
“I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict,” she said in a written statement provided to the media. “Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system.”
Her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, got 25 years. He has also maintained his innocence.
A third defendant, Rudy Guede, was convicted earlier and is serving 16 years. Lawyers for Knox argued that he had acted alone; it does not appear that he knew the victim, Meredith Kercher of Great Britain, or the other two defendants. Meanwhile, Guede told the Telegraph last year that he, too, is innocent.
Although a 48 Hours program suggested that the evidence against both was skimpy, at best, and pointed to exculpatory evidence that had been ignored, the true-crime show also discussed how inflammatory adverse publicity had apparently convinced many members of the public in Italy that Knox is guilty.
A legal expert told CNN that Knox likely could not be forced to leave her home country because U.S. laws on double jeopardy are in conflict with Italy’s. An earlier ABAJournal.com post also discusses this issue.
Both Knox and Sollecito are expected to appeal today’s verdict.
Updated at 6:00 p.m. to link to earlier ABAJournal.com post.