Police told an Italian court today that Amanda Knox had a "strange attitude" after discovering that her roommate had been murdered, doing a cartwheel in the police station, sitting on her boyfriend's lap, making faces at him and kissing him.
A detective also described for the court the urgent messages they found on the cell phone of the victim, British exchange student Meredith Kercher, left by her family after they heard that an English student had been murdered in Perugia, Italy.
Kercher was found Nov. 1, 2007, half-naked with her throat slashed in her bedroom in the apartment in Perugia she shared with Knox and two Italian women.
Knox, a 21-year-old student from Washington, has been in jail since Nov. 6, 2007, awaiting trial along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24. A third person, Rudy Guede, has already been found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The former director of Perugia's crime squad, Domenico Giacinto Profazio, described the behavior of Knox and Sollecito in the hours and days after Kercher's body was found and her roommates were questioned.
He told the court about seeing Knox sitting on Sollecito's lap in the detectives' waiting room and said that he had told them "it was not appropriate."
In another example of what he considered their puzzling behavior, he said that he had been told that before they were arrested, "Amanda did a cartwheel or a split in one of the rooms at the police station, and then that she burst into tears at the end of her interrogation."
The head of Perugia's homicide squad Monica Napoleoni testified that all of Kercher's friends were horrified by the news of her murder as they waited to be interviewed at the police station.
"All were terrified except for Amanda and Raffaele. They seemed indifferent. They were making faces and kissing," Napoleoni told the court.
Knox and Sollecito deny the charges against them and say they were at Sollecito's house on the night of the murder.
But investigators have been unable to establish where the couple was during that hours they believe Kercher was killed, and had tried to track them through the use of their cell phones.
Profazio testified that both Knox and Sollecito's cell phones were turned off between 8 p.m. and 8.30 pm on the night of Nov. 1, the night the murder took place.
Knox, wearing a purple sweater, held her head down as she entered the crowded courtroom today escorted by prison guards. She seemed calm and remained silent as she listened attentively to the hearing, which is conducted entirely in Italian. Her translator sat beside her, but she didn't seem to need much assistance to understand the proceedings.
Knox's father, Curt Knox, was seated alone at the rear of the hall. He has been present at all hearings since the start of the trial on Jan. 16.
Sollecito's lawyer attacked the prosecution's evidence today.
At one point, Profazio told the court that two evidence-gathering inspections were carried out in the house before the victim's bra clasp was found on the victim's bedroom floor more than a month and a half after the murder. Traces of Sollecito's DNA have been found on it.