Timeline - Amanda Knox acquitted of murder, ending years-long saga

  • World
  • Saturday, 28 Mar 2015

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Italy's top court on Friday annulled the conviction of American Amanda Knox for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher and, in a surprise verdict, acquitted her of the charge.

Here is a timeline of the main events in the case:

Nov. 2, 2007 - Kercher's body is found with a stab wound in the throat, in the apartment she shared with American student Knox in the central Italian town of Perugia.

Nov. 6 - Knox, her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and bar owner Patrick Diya Lumumba are questioned by Italian police.

Nov. 20 - Police arrest a fourth suspect, Rudy Guede, from Ivory Coast. Lumumba is released without charge.

April 1, 2008 - Knox, Sollecito and Guede lose their appeals to be released from prison and are told they will stay behind bars until they are charged or released.

Oct. 28, 2008 - Guede is sentenced to 30 years in jail for taking part in Kercher's murder. His sentence is cut back to 16 years on appeal in 2009. Knox and Sollecito are ordered to stand trial on murder charges.

Jan. 16, 2009 - Trial of Knox and Sollecito begins.

Dec. 5 - A court sentences Knox to 26 years in prison and Sollecito to 25 years after they are found guilty of murdering Kercher during a drunken sex assault.

June 29, 2011 - An independent forensic report discredits police evidence used to help convict Knox.

July 25 - Two court-appointed experts tell an appeal hearing the knife thought to have been used to kill Kercher carried no trace of blood but may have been contaminated with other DNA traces.

Oct. 3 - Two professional and six lay judges find Knox and Sollecito not guilty of murder. Knox quickly returns to the United States.

March 26, 2013 - Italy's top court overturns the acquittal and orders a retrial of Knox and Sollecito. The Italian legal system does not contain so-called "double jeopardy" provisions that prevent a defendant being tried twice for the same offence. Knox, still in the United States, does not attend the retrial.

Jan. 30, 2014 - The court upholds the murder convictions, increasing Knox's sentence to 28-1/2 years and keeping Sollecito's 25-year sentence. Lawyers for both appeal the verdict.

March 27 - After hearing appeals, Italy's highest court throws out guilty verdict on Knox and Sollecito, saying there is insufficient evidence to convict either.

(Reporting by David Cutler in London and Bill Rigby in Seattle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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