April 30, 2013

Amanda Knox: I'm not a murderer

After a sensationalistic trial, Knox was acquitted of murdering a student in Italy in 2007, but an Italian court recently overturned her acquittal.

SEATTLE — Amanda Knox says in an interview that what happened to her was "surreal but it could have happened to anyone."

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This April 9, 2013, photo released by ABC shows Amanda Knox during the taping of an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in New York.

AP

The Seattle native told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an interview airing Tuesday night that "I want the truth to come out. I'd like to be reconsidered as a person."

In March, Italy's highest criminal court overturned Knox's acquittal in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher and ordered a new trial for Knox, 25. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding.

Knox told Sawyer the high court's decision was "incredibly painful" and she felt as if she had to crawl through another field of barbed wire after reaching what she thought was the end.

She said she was aware of being labeled a seductress, she-devil and other names in the media, but she said "they're wrong."

"I was in the courtroom when they were calling me a devil," she told Sawyer in interview excerpts posted online. "It's one thing to be called certain things in the media, and it's another thing to be sitting in a courtroom fighting for your life while people are calling you a devil.

"For all intents and purposes I was a murderer, whether I was or not. I had to live with the idea that that would be my life," she said during the interview.

Italian prosecutors have said Knox, who was an exchange student studying in Perugia, Italy, and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito killed Kercher in a drug-fueled sex assault involving a third man.

They maintained that the murder weapon was a large knife taken from Sollecito's house. Prosecutors said the knife matched the wounds on Kercher's body and had traces of Kercher's DNA on the blade and Knox's DNA on the handle.

However, Knox's defenders said she was innocent and was forced to say things she didn't mean during a lengthy police interrogation. And they said bumbling Italian police contaminated the crime scene, producing flawed DNA evidence.

An Ivorian man is serving a 16-year sentence for Kercher's slaying. A new trial also has been ordered for Sollecito.

Since returning to Seattle in 2011, Knox has largely avoided the public spotlight in her Pacific Northwest hometown where she is studying at the University of Washington.

Her memoir, "Waiting to Be Heard," was released Tuesday.

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