Freed Amanda Knox left for the United States from Fiumicino International Airport in Rome today. With members of her family she flew to London to catch a flight on to their home in Seattle.
After her conviction was overturned on Monday, the 24-year-old enjoyed her first night out of prison for four years. An Italian court of appeals cleared her of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007. Her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito also had his 25-year sentence quashed after his appeal was also successful.
However, her conviction for slander was upheld, for wrongly accusing Diya ‘Patrick’ Lumumba. Her sentence for that crime is three years, one fewer than she has already served meaning – much to the joy of her family – Amanda was released immediately.
Knox had been sentenced to 26 years for the murder, in which Kercher was stabbed 40 times and had her throat slashed.
Members of Knox’s family who travelled to Italy to hear the verdict were overjoyed with the outcome. Speaking outside the courtroom, her sister Deanna Knox said “We’re thankful that Amanda’s nightmare is over. She has suffered for four years for a crime that she did not commit. We are thankful for the support we have received from all over the world.”
However, not everyone was happy to see the American released. A crowd of protesters shouted ‘shame’ and some said they believed it had all been pinned on Rudy Guede who has been imprisoned for 16 years for the murder.