Will Amanda Knox Spend a Third Year in Perugia?

Knox to Ring in Her 22nd Birthday in Prison

Watching this young American student surrounded by attorneys and the media, it is hard to imagine what must be going through her head. She seems relaxed, dressed casually in blouses and slacks. But she knows that for her and her family, everything is riding on these next few weeks.

Her father, Curt, left town earlier this week, and the next day, her mother arrived from Seattle. "I've lost count of how many times I've come here in the last year and a half. I guess about 10," Mellas told ABC News. "In a really weird way, it's gotten to be kind of just a part of the routine of life now."

For this stranger in a strange land, the now-too-familiar ritual continued this week with a visit to her daughter in prison on the outskirts of Perugia. For the past 19 months, Mellas or Curt Knox has tried to be here for the one hour twice a week they are allowed to see their daughter. They have seen Amanda turn 21 in prison. Next month, around the time the defense is wrapping up its case, she will turn 22.

"How does a mother prepare to take the stand to defend her daughter?" ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas asked Edda Mellas. "I have no idea," Mellas responded, "You know, I've never had to do this before."

Vargas: "Do you worry about getting emotional when it's so important, what you say?" Mellas: "Absolutely. … The good thing is, there's nothing to lie [about]. I just tell what I remember. … I don't think I can be tripped up when you're just telling the truth and what you remember."

Asked how they maintain their equanimity, Curt Knox said: "You stay focused on Amanda and making sure that that light is there for her, and you just work through it. You just have to. You're not going to leave an innocent daughter in a foreign prison."

Today, sitting alone in the center of the courtroom, Mellas told her side of the story. Now that the the latest leg of her journey is complete, this math specialist will spend the rest of her summer break in Perugia, to support her daughter. They both know that there will be more tests to come.

The Italian court will take a two-month summer break, with closing arguments and a verdict expected this fall. By then the fall colors will be appearing in the spectacular rolling hills of Umbria, and Amanda Knox will be close to starting her third year in prison.

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