MILAN – An Italian court that convicted Amanda Knox in her roommate's 2007 murder said in lengthy reasoning made public Tuesday that the victim's wounds indicate multiple aggressors, and that the two exchange students fought over money on the night of the murder.
The appellate court in Florence explained the January guilty verdicts against the American student and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in a 337-page document that examined both the evidence and the motive.
The court said that a third person convicted in the murder, Rudi Hermann Guede, did not act alone, and cited the nature of the victim's wounds. It noted that at least two knives were used to attack 21-year-old Meredith Kercher and that there were also finger imprints on her body, indicating she had been restrained -- ruling out the possibility that Guede was the only attacker.
The court said there was ample evidence of a bad relationship between the two roommates, despite Knox's attempts to play down differences in court, and cited statements by Guede under police questioning that Kercher had blamed Knox for taking money from the British student's room.
`'It is a matter of fact that at a certain point in the evening events accelerated; the English girl was attacked by Amanda Marie Knox, by Raffaele Sollecito, who was backing up his girlfriend, and by Rudi Hermann Guede, and constrained within her own room," the document said.
The court said it was not necessary for all of the assailants to have the same motive, and that the murder was not attributable to a sex game gone awry, as it was out of Kercher's character to have ever consented to such activity.
The release of the court's reasoning opens the verdict to an appeal back to the supreme Court of Cassation. If it confirms the convictions, a long extradition fight for Knox is expected. She has been in the United States since 2011 when her earlier conviction was overturned.
Kercher was found dead in a pool of blood in the apartment she and Knox shared in the town of Perugia. Her throat had been slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.