FLORENCE, Italy – An Italian court says it convicted Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend of murdering her onetime roommate in part because of evidence showing that more than one person killed the British student.
The Florence appeals court released its explanation Tuesday, less than three months after it convicted Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Meredith Kercher’s 2007 death in a retrial.
In the more than 300-page document, the court said that a third person convicted in the murder, Rudy Guede, did not act alone, and cited the nature of the victim’s wounds.
Ruling Judge Alessandro Nencini, who presided over the second appeal in the case, said Kercher and Knox disagreed over the payment of the rent in the house they shared in Perugia and that “there was an argument, then an elevation and progression of aggression.”
The Florence court in January said that Knox, who also was convicted of slander, was sentenced in absentia to 28 1/2 years in prison. Sollecito’s sentence was 25 years.
They were first convicted of murder in 2009, but the verdicts were overturned on appeal in 2011.
Now that the explanation of the verdict has been released, defense lawyers have 90 days to appeal.
Knox’s conviction has raised questions about her possible extradition to Italy to serve her sentence, since she was in the United States and did not attend the retrial.
Prosecutors had said Kercher, 21, was stabbed to death, after she rejected attempts by Knox, Sollecito and Guede to involve her in a sex game.
Guede is the only person in jail for the slaying, and many aspects of the crime remain unexplained.
Knox and Sollecito have maintained their innocence, and their 2009 convictions led to questions about the effectiveness of Italy’s justice system. The trial revealed widespread doubts over the handling of the investigation and key pieces of evidence.
But in March 2013, Italy’s Supreme Court overturned the pair’s acquittals and ordered a retrial. That proceeding resulted in the convictions being reinstated.