In a tremulous voice that at times broke with emotion, Amanda Knox told jurors who will decide her fate within the next 24 hours that she felt "vulnerable" before them at this "important moment."
Knox's statement concluded her defense at the end of the 11-month long Italian murder trial that will end Friday. The six person jury and two judges who will begin deliberating Friday morning are expected to stay at it for 12 to 18 hours to have a verdict by Friday night.
The Seattle college student, who has already spent two years in jail, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of murdering roommate Meredith Kercher Nov. 1, 2007 with the help of two men, ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede.
"I have thought in these days about what I wanted to say and I had a question, which I wrote down, that a lot of people have asked me: How can you stay so calm?" Knox said to the jury in the Italian she has improved during her years in prison. "The first thing to say, is that I am not calm."
"I am afraid of losing myself. I am afraid of being defined as something I am not, and by actions that are not mine. I am afraid of having a mask of a murderer forced on to my skin," she said with a shaky voice but with some obvious determination.
Referring to the two years she has already spent in jail, Knox said, "I can confess that I feel confused, sad, frustrated."
She said people have asked how she has been able to not pull her hair out, get depressed or destroy her jail cell.
"In these situations I breathe, and try to find the positive in the important moments," she said as her voice quavered. "And I know this moment is one of those moments, because in this moment... a real decision is being made about a fact. It must be understood."
Her voice broke as she continued and said to the jurors, "And I feel more in touch with you, more vulnerable in front of you. But I have faith and am sure of my knowledge."
Knox thanked several people for support over the last two years including her lawyers, "my family, my friends who are the reason... that I am able to bear it." She even thanked the prosecutors "even if they don't understand me... because they are trying to bring justice to an act that has taken someone from the world."
"The important thing now," she concluded in remarks directed at the jurors, "is that I thank you because it is your turn now and so I thank you. Okay."
The Knox case has been heavily covered by the press since the murder occured on Nov. 1, 2007, but as the trial heads to a climax it has become intense. Journalists and cameramen jammed the small courtroom and tiny press room. Reporters shouted "Amanda, Amanda" as she entered court and so many camera flashes went off today that the courtroom was lit up.
Despite the pressure, Knox has been smiling and relaxed in recent days. Today, however, she appeared more serious as the trial nears an end and a verdict looms.
Knox's 20-year-old sister Deanna, who was in the courtroom for the last two days, told ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas in an interview to air Friday on "20/20" that her sister is torn between excitement at the prospect of going home for Christmas and fear of a conviction.
"She told me a little while ago she was really excited about the possibility that she could be flying home with us," Deanna Knox told Vargas.