Romanelli said she saw Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend, "once or twice." She said that Sollecito was "very sweet" to Knox and was always physically close to her. Knox told her that she really liked Sollecito, but felt guilty toward her American boyfriend and did not know what to do, Romanelli said. She said she had seen Sollecito and Knox smoke hashish but that she did not consider them drug addicts.
In a marathon cross-examination by teams of lawyers including the prosecution and representatives of the victim and both defendants, Romanelli reconstructed the events of the November morning when Kercher's body was found.
She first received a phone call from Knox as she, Romanelli, was driving to a fair with a friend, she said. Knox said she had come home and found the front door wide open, Romanelli recalled. "There is something strange," Romanelli quoted Knox as telling her in English. "I took a shower and I am going to get Raffaele. And there is some blood."
Romanelli said she asked Knox if she knew where Kercher was and if she knew what the blood could be. Knox said no.
"I urged Amanda to take a better look around the house and get back to me," Romanelli said. She said she could not understand how Amanda could have taken a shower under such circumstances.
"Yes, she told me she had taken a shower," Romanelli said, "and I found it hard to understand this."
Romanelli said that later she again spoke with Knox, who told her to come home because the window in her room had been broken and her room was a mess.
Romanelli also testified that when she went into her bedroom, before the body had been discovered, she found the room turned upside down, her closet open, her clothes scattered around the room, the window broken. "I noticed that my computer was on the floor, on a pile of clothes, and covered with pieces of glass," she said.
Investigators contend that Sollecito and Knox staged a theft after the murder, breaking the window with a rock from the inside. The glass lying atop the clothes and the computer indicates that the room was already messy before the window was broken, they said.
The next hearing in the trial is scheduled for Feb. 13, when Meredith Kercher's English classmates in Perugia are expected to testify.