(FLORENCE, Italy) -- Amanda Knox was found guilty of murder Thursday by an Italian court, the latest twist in a murder case that goes back to 2007. The judge sentenced Knox to 28 years in prison. Her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and co-defendant was sentenced to 25 years. They were found guilty of the 2007 murder of her former roommate Meredith Kercher in a cottage they shared in Perugia, Italy.
Knox, who remained in her hometown of Seattle for the trial, watched the verdict with her family live on television. "I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict," Knox said in a statement. "Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system."
"My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution," she added. Knox said in her statement that the tough verdict "is no consolation for the Kercher family" and said, "This has gotten out of hand." She blamed her conviction on "overzealous and intransigent prosecution, prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation, unwillingness to admit mistake, reliance on unreliable testimony and evidence, character assassination, inconsistent and unfounded accusatory theory."
The prison sentence was even stiffer than her first sentence in 2009 when she was given a 24 year prison term. The current prosecutor had asked for a 26 year prison term for the murder for Knox and Sollecito, plus another four years for Knox on a related libel conviction. Knox, who was in the U.S., could not be re-arrested. Authorities said Sollecito also would not be immediately arrested, but would confiscate his passport so that he could not leave the country. This is the fourth time Knox faced a verdict on the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher while they were roommates in Perugia, Italy. Knox, now 26, and Sollecito, 29, were convicted in 2009. After serving four years in prison they were freed in 2011 when an appeals court threw out the murder conviction. But Italy's supreme court ordered another appeals court to rehear the case. Kercher's sister Stephanie and brother Lyle were in the courtroom for the verdict.
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