MODENA, ITALY – Amanda Knox, the U.S. exchange student jailed for four years then acquitted for the 2007 murder of her roommate in the Italian town of Perugia, returned to Italy on Thursday to address a conference on wrongful convictions.
The Seattle native was 20 years old at the time of the murder of Briton Meredeth Kercher, whose half-naked body was found on Nov. 2, 2007, in a bedroom of the apartment she and Knox shared in Perugia.
The 21-year-old had been stabbed 47 times and had her throat slashed. Police also found signs of sexual assault.
Sentenced to 26 years in jail, Knox served four years before an initial acquittal on appeal in 2011. That was overturned, but Italy’s highest court ended up definitively acquitting her in 2015.
Knox, now 31, flew in to the northern city of Milan before heading to Modena, where she was seen at a cocktail party, glass in hand and smiling, on the eve of a Criminal Justice Festival.
She will be a guest speaker on a panel titled “Trial by Media” on Saturday at the invitation of the Italy Innocence Project.
Knox wrote in an article for Medium.com published Wednesday that she was “polishing up the speech I’m about to give to a potentially hostile audience in Italy.
Prosecutors described the murder as a drug-fuelled sex game gone awry involving Knox, her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and an Ivorian drifter, Rudy Guede.
Sollecito was acquitted along with Knox, but Guede was convicted and remains in jail in Italy.
Defense lawyers argued that their clients could not get a fair trial because of the media frenzy over the murder.
Since her release, Knox has written a book about her experience — “Waiting To Be Heard: A Memoir” — has been the subject of a Netflix documentary, and has become a public advocate for inmates who have been wrongfully imprisoned.