Edda Mellas and Curt Knox thought their heartbreak was over. They finally had their daughter home again after a four-year battle to have her murder conviction overturned.
But their lives have been blown apart by the news Italy’s highest court has ordered a retrial.
Amanda Knox, dubbed “Foxy Knoxy”, spent four years in jail for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher while they were studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. She and her former boyfriend Raffaele Solleito were convicted in 2009 to 25 years in prison for murder.
Convinced of their daughter’s innocence, Amanda’s divorced parents fought tirelessly to free her, taking out second mortgages on their homes and draining their retirement funds.
When her conviction was appealed and overturned in 2011, she finally returned home and the family began rebuilding their shattered lives.
Italian Judge Saverio Chieffi told the court he would publish the reasoning behind his decision within 90 days. Once it is published Amanda and Raffaele and their legal teams have 45 days to present their cases. The retrial is not expected until sometime early next year, to be heard in an appellate court in Florence.
It is expected that Italy will request the extradition of Amanda from the United States for the trial but the US government may refuse because it violates the US legal principle that a criminal defendant can't be tried twice on the same charge; the double jepoardy rule.
Parents are often forgotten in high drama cases such as that of Amanda Knox. But they were my first thought when I heard her acquittal had been overturned.
Divorced when Amanda was two, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox have worked closely together to get their daughter home. They were even charged with libel by the Italian police for comments they made to the press regarding Amanda’s treatment while in custody. They claimed she’d been physically abused during a police interrogation.
The acquittal was meant to be the end. Finally, they could take their daughter home.
There is a man in prison for the murder of Meredith Kerher. His name is Rudy Guede. His bloody palm print was found on a pillow placed under her back. His DNA was found on and inside Meredith’s body and on her shirt, bra and handbag. Before being convicted he had fled to Germany.
But, when a video of Amanda and her boyfriend Raffaele sharing a quick kiss on the day the body was discovered, a story began to build of an orgy involving Rudy, Amanda, Meredith and Raffaele, an orgy that resulted in a satanic murder. Rudy admitted to having sex with Meredith, but not to the murder. His legal team jumped on the media frenzy surrounding Amanda, Raffaele and that kiss.
Struggling to accept the loss of their daughter, Meredith’s family supports the retrial. Her older sister Stephanie said: “We are never going to be happy about any outcome because we have still lost Meredith but we obviously support the decision and hope to get answers from it.”
Since returning home Amanda has tried to resume a normal life, studying creative writing at the University of Washington in her hometown of Seattle. She has also written a book about her ordeal called Waiting to be Heard which will be released April 30. She reportedly received an advance of $4 million for the book.
Shortly after the news of the retrial broke, Amanda issued a statement through her lawyer saying: “It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution’s theory of my involvement in Meredith’s murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair. “