As outsiders, you and I don’t know for certain, but we want Amanda Knox to be innocent. We hope an Italian jury wrongly convicted the University of Washington exchange student of murder two years ago, and we hope the appeals trial will end Knox’s four-year ordeal and a judge sends her home to Seattle.
This could be the week.
Knox’s family and a close friends have flown to Perugia to be in the courtroom as Knox’s attorneys present their case in the final days of the appeals trial.
Covering the trial, NBC news correspondent Keith Miller says Knox has lost weight and appeared in court today looking tired and tense. “Four years behind bars and the strain of the appeal are taking a toll,” Miller reported from Perugia.
But Curt Knox, Amanda’s father, says his daughter is holding up under the pressure.
“She’s doing okay,” he told NBC. “Friday was the toughest day because of all of the things that were being said about her personally and the character assassination she experienced.”
A lawyer for one man Knox accused as the real killer called Knox a “She-wolf” who deliberately accused an innocent man. In court, the attorney testified that at the time of the murder Knox was “on an explosive mix of drugs, sex, and alcohol.”
The court convicted Knox, her boyfriend at the time, and a third man of murdering Knox’s British roommate, Meredith Kercher in 2007. Prosecutors say Kercher had refused to go along with a sex game.
The appeals trial has lasted nearly a year. Since independent forensic experts this summer blew holes in the DNA evidence, Knox’s family says Knox has become increasingly optimistic the Italian court will overturn the guilty verdict and 26 year prison term.
However, despite that expert testimony, the Italian prosecutor is now asking the judge to increase Knox’s sentence to life in prison.
As you can tell, the stakes are high.
Her family says Knox will take the stand sometime this week.
Watch the report tonight on NBC Right Now (or after the newscast on NBCrightnow.com).