Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend is reportedly abandoning her in his last and final appeal in the murder of Knox’s roommate.
Lawyers for Raffaele Sollecito told Italian reporters Monday that Sollecito’s appeal for his murder conviction will distance himself from Knox and potentially incriminate her.
Sollecito’s lawyers were quoted in various news reports saying he “was home alone that night” or that he is “only sure about the fact that he was at home,” leaving open the possibility that Knox was not there, IBT Times UK reports.
Sollecito and Knox have both stated repeatedly in their previous trials the two were together November 1, 2007 in his home in Perugia, Italy when Meredith Kercher was murdered in the apartment she shared with Knox and others.
“It’s stunning because we’ve been hearing consistently Raffaele Sollecito had been corroborating Amanda Knox’s account, essentially an alibi,” says Anne Bremner, the attorney for the Friends of Amanda Knox.
Bremner says in addition to his testimony, Sollecito’s memoir “Honor Bound” is based entirely on the premise he stood by Knox and told the truth because it was the right thing to do.
“The question is what does he have to do or feel he has to do to get through this thing. Maybe he’s been advised to distance himself from Amanda Knox, but he can’t deviate from what the truth is,” Bremner says.
The couple was convicted in 2009. After several appeals and rulings, an appellate court upheld both convictions in January, sentencing Knox to 28-and-a-half years in prison, Sollecito to 26 years.
Both have maintained their innocence and are appealing to Italy’s top court, the Court of Cassation in Rome. The case is expected to be heard in early 2015.
Prosecutors originally argued that Kercher was killed in a drug-fueled sex game gone awry — an accusation that made the case a tabloid sensation.
But at the third trial, a new prosecutor argued that the violence stemmed from arguments between roommates Knox and Kercher about cleanliness and was triggered by a toilet left unflushed by a third defendant, Rudy Hermann Guede.
Guede, who is from the Ivory Coast, was convicted in a separate trial in a verdict that specified he did not commit the crime alone. He is serving a 16-year sentence.
Knox has repeatedly maintained her innocence and vowed that she is innocent. In her blog, she has written frequently about the injustice and lack of evidence in the case.
“Experts agreed that my DNA was not found anywhere in Meredith’s room, while the DNA of the actual murderer, Rudy Guede, was found throughout that room and on Meredith’s body,” she wrote in her most recent post. “This forensic evidence directly refutes the multiple-assailant theory found in the new motivation document. This theory is not supported by any reliable forensic evidence.”
If Knox’s conviction is upheld by Italy’s highest court, the country could request her extradition from the United States. But Bremner says her legal team would fight extradition as vigorously as possible.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.