Judge in Knox Appeal Allows New Evidence Reviews, Witnesses
Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- American Amanda Knox won a major victory Saturday in her appeal of the murder conviction in the death of her British roommate when an Italian appellate judge granted approval of independent forensic reviews on two key pieces of evidence.
Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman said he will accept independent forensic examinations of the knife believed used in the attack, and a bra clasp belonging to Meredith Kercher, who was killed in her Perugia apartment in 2007.
Previous tests of the knife and bra clasp revealed traces of DNA from Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who was also convicted in the killing.
Hellman also said he will allow new witnesses for the defense, including two people who are said to have information showing that Knox and Sollecito were not involved in Kercher's death.
Friends and family of Knox hugged and celebrated after the judge announced his decision.
"It's a good day for us -- finally," Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, said after the ruling.
The defense has said the knife found at Sollecito's apartment doesn't match Kercher's wounds or an imprint of a knife left on a bedsheet at Kercher's apartment. They have also said the DNA sample is too small to be conclusive. They also raised speculation that the DNA found on the bra clasp could have been contaminated.
"Why do you need to review the forensic evidence when this conviction is based on much more than the knife and the bra clasp?" Prosecutor Manuela Comodi argued before the court began deliberating.
She then reminded the court that Knox and Sollecito don't have an alibi for the night of the killing, adding that there was "ample" evidence of a staged break-in.
Francesco Maresca, an attorney for the Kercher family, said he was "disappointed" with the decision, suggesting that the ruling was political in the face of pressure from the United States.
Earlier this week, a third person convicted in Kercher's death lost his appeal.
Rudy Guede, a drifter originally from the Ivory Coast, will continue serving his 16-year sentence for the crime after the court refused Thursday to overturn his conviction.
Knox was sentenced last year to 26 years in prison for the killing of Kercher.
Kercher, 21, was found in November 2007, semi-naked with her throat slashed.
Sollecito is serving a 25-year sentence.
Knox's family said in April that she is innocent and that no forensic evidence puts her at the crime scene.
"Meredith was Amanda's friend," the family said. "They liked each other and spent time together when not in school. Amanda would not hurt Meredith."
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The Idaho state fire marshal says an explosion in a fireplace caused a fire that consumed a house and killed four people. Knute Sandahl said Thursday the explosion, which occurred June 30 at Tamarack Resort, was ruled accidental. Sandahl says the fireplace on the main floor of the home was converted from propane-fueled to wood-burning in 2015. During the conversion to wood, the propane line that fed the fireplace was>>
COLFAX, Wash. (AP) - It looks like the tours and ghost hunts will continue at the haunted hospital in the town of Colfax. A structural engineer from Spokane has told the city's Downtown Association that the building is structurally sound, opening the door for one more year of tours at St. Ignatius Hospital. The Lewiston Tribune reports the tours raised more than $30,000 from 2015-16 for the Colfax Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Association.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies are calling a 79-year-old man a hero for stepping in to help a deputy when he suddenly needed it. That deputy tried stopping a driver on the South Hill after noticing the car didn't have license plates. It started a chase that ended with the help from a very unlikely place. For Paul Eminger, it was a case of being in the right place at the right time. Seeing a Sheriff's Deputy running after>>
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) - Is there going to be another addition to the Jenner-Kardashian clan? Several media outlets, including TMZ and People, are reporting Friday that 20-year-old Kylie Jenner, the youngest member of the reality show family, is expecting a child with her boyfriend Travis Scott. Reps did not confirm the pregnancy, however, and did not immediately respond to The Associated Press' request for comment. (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - One family says they are incredibly thankful to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and police department for their hard work protecting them, after they say an armed man was running around near their home. Deputies used a K9 team to track and arrest 45-year-old Mark Perry, who was hiding near Mead. The Loranger family says they live in a pretty secluded area surrounded by the woods. When they heard pounding>>
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - "My name is Dylan Ervin, I'm a competitive shooter, a business owner, a husband and a father of two," Dylan Ervin said in a promotional video. He's re-inventing the way we lock up our guns. Ervin has been hard at work for the last four years creating the StopBox. "It's for the in-between point for when your firearm isn't in your holster or in your gun safe," Ervin said. The StopBox acts as a barrier, similar to a tumbler>>