PERUGIA, Italy – The family of Meredith Kercher, a British student killed while studying abroad in Italy in 2007, has arrived in Perugia, Italy to testify at the trial of an American student and her Italian boyfriend who are charged with murder and sexual violence.
Kercher's mother and father passed crowds of reporters at the Perugia courthouse Friday without comment. The victim's sister, Stephanie Kercher, only said she felt "anxious" going into the courthouse.
Meredith Kercher, 21, was found stabbed to death in the house she rented in Perugia on Nov. 2, 2007. Her roommate, American student Amanda Knox, and Knox's former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are standing trial for her death.
Prosecutors allege Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game. The defendants deny wrongdoing.
Knox and Sollecito, jailed since shortly after the slaying, have given conflicting statements on what happened and said they smoked hashish the night of the murder.
Sollecito has said he was at his own apartment in Perugia, working at his computer. He said he doesn't remember if Knox spent the whole night with him or just part of it.
Knox has insisted she was not home during the slaying.
The two risk Italy's stiffest punishment, life imprisonment, if convicted of murder.
A third suspect, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, was found guilty of identical charges last year and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was given a fast-track trial at his request.
His lawyer, Walter Biscotti, said Friday that Guede's appeal would start Nov. 18. Guede, 22, has acknowledged being in Kercher's room that night but denies having killed her. He has accused an unidentified Italian of trying to frame him.
The Kercher family has joined the trial as civil plaintiffs, and they will testify at the request of their lawyer.
In Italy, civil lawsuits can be attached to criminal trials. In the Kercher case, it allows the family to more closely monitor the case, receiving information that normally would be reserved for defense lawyers or prosecutors.
In a statement issued shortly before Knox and Sollecito were ordered to stand trial, the family said they hoped justice would be done. They described the victim as a caring woman who loved Italy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.