The Italian appeals court hearing Amanda Knox's appeal of her murder conviction was adjourned today, sending the American student back to her jail cell for the weekend to await a verdict Monday that could either set her free -- or keep her in prison for life.
Knox's father, Curt Knox, said he did not think the defense's final arguments succeeded in proving his daughter killed her British roommate Meredith Kercher in November 2007. But he knows he has to rely on the court's perception of the evidence.
"I'm hoping the judge and jury have seen what I've seen throughout the trial. I'm very hopeful we'll take Amanda home," he told ABC News.
His daughter, who has been looking pale and tense during the appeal, is bearing up, Curt Knox said.
"Her frame of mind was good. The guards were very kind and let us all give her a hug after court. That cheered her up before she has to go spend a weekend alone in prison, before she has to plead for her life to the judge and jury come Monday morning," he said.
Court will resume Monday when a lawyer for Knox will make the last rebuttal argument followed by personal statements from Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. A verdict is expected to be delivered several hours later.
The six person jury and the two judges who will decide the fate of Knox and Sollecito heard a series of impassioned arguments from prosecutors and lawyers today urging them to find the truth. They disagreed sharply on what the truth is, however.
Amanda Knox Appeal Nears Ends With Emotional Statements
The prosecution charge that Knox and Sollecito killed Kercher in a cottage that Knox and Kercher shared in Perugia, Italy. They were convicted of the crime in 2009 and Knox was sentenced to 26 years while Sollecito was given 25 years. Prosecutors not only want to keep them in prison but to increase their sentences to life.
The lawyer for the Kercher family today gave a stark final statement.
"On Monday, Meredith's mother, sister and brother will be here to hear your sentence," lawyer Francesco Maresca told the court today during a series of rebuttals in one of the last stages of the appeal. "They will look you in the eyes for the first time. With one look, they will ask you to confirm the sentence."
Maresca said the family has not been at the hearings because the mother, Arline Kercher, 65, has been ill and the family could not afford it.
The verdict is bound to leave either the Kercher family or the Knox family upset. Kercher's father made clear in a newspaper article he wrote before the start of the appeal that his family believed Knox to be "culpable" for their daughter's death.
The prosecution made a final and emotional push today to convince the appeals court to keep Knox and Sollecito in prison, likening the murder to a senseless crime like teens burning a homeless man or kids bullying a handicapped child.
The prosecutor also said that Knox is lucky that Italy does not have the death penalty.
The appeal by Knox and Sollecito has been a week-long barrage of emotional summations by both sides.
Today's testimony began with rebuttals by the prosecution and at one point Knox's attorney felt obliged to pat her on the back and put his arm around her for a few minutes as she was depicted as a senseless thrill killer.
Manuela Comodi, one of several prosecutors who went over the evidence today, addressed the criticism that the case has struggled to determine a motive for Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, slashing Kercher's neck. The prosecutors have settled on no motive.
"Motive?" Comodi asked today. "Why do mothers kill their children? Why do young people burn a bag-man? Why do kids bully a handicapped kid in class? There are lots of examples I can bring."
"They [the defendants] are young, and they killed for nothing, for no reason. They are young, Meredith was young too. I ask that they be given the maximum sentence, which luckily in Italy is not the death penalty," Comodi said.
Knox, who has been in prison for four years, is serving a 26 year prison sentence. Sollecito was given 25 years.
Another member of the prosecution team, Giuliano Mignini, took issue with the claim by Knox's lawyers that Knox was "crucified" by media leaks from prosecutors and police during the investigation and initial murder trial.