It may seem hard for some to imagine that Sollecito, an engineering student, and his girlfriend of one week, Knox would have taken part in such a horrible crime. But seeming inconsistencies in their dual alibis, some forensic evidence -- including a knife with Knox and Kercher's DNA on it -- and the fact that Knox wrote a statement saying she might have been at the scene, after an all-night interrogation without a lawyer, has placed the former couple in the center of this international firestorm. To the press and the attorneys for both sides, they are either cunning and cold-blooded killers, or they are young innocents who truly were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
For nearly 12 hours over the course of two days last weekend, Knox answered questions from a half dozen lawyers and one of the judges. She spoke mostly in Italian, and seemed calm and confident on the stand. Her answers were often long and the judge several times asked her to answer more directly. But there is much to explain, and much that is lost in translation, despite Amanda Knox's fluency.
Knox explained the vague confession by saying she was beaten and bullied by Italian police, and that she was called "a stupid liar."
"I was very, very scared," she said. "Because they were treating me so badly, and I didn't understand why." The Perugia police department is now reportedly threatening to sue Knox for slander.
However, there are some things that do need to be sorted out by the defense in the coming weeks, such as small amounts of mixed blood and DNA in the bathroom the women shared. On the stand, Knox said she hadn't noticed any blood when she was last in the bathroom the day before the grisly killing.
The next morning she came home from her boyfriend's, she testified, to take a shower. But she was asked: If the house was cold -- this was early November and there was no heat in the cottage -- why would she take a shower? And only after the shower did she notice any blood. "I touched them with my fingers," she told the court. "They were dried."
But as far as her supporters are concerned, the lack of evidence of Knox in the room where Kercher's body was found, naked except for her shirt, her body covered with a comforter, is the clearest indication of Amanda's innocence. "Not a speck of hair, not a fingerprint, no pieces of DNA to any degree in that room -- and have it cleaned up. It is impossible, impossible," said her father.
But as many questions as Knox may have answered on the stand, she raised a few new questions. She struck a strange chord with some when she described the details of Kercher's death as "yucky," a reference to an episode of CSI she had seen about a stabbing.
The British press seized on that as an example of her insensitivity, and indeed the young American abroad is being judged, it seems, as much on how she delivers her message as what she says. Asked what she recalled about finding out her roommate had been killed, she said she was "shocked. … I could not imagine something like that." Then, she added: "In the end I only knew her a month, and more than anything … I am thinking of how to move forward with my life."