PERUGIA, Italy Dec. 4, 2009 -- After a brief court appearance today, Amanda Knox returned to her Italian jail cell as a jury began deliberating whether to acquit her of murder charges or convict her and sentence her to life in prison.
The 22-year-old Seattle college student has been on trial for the past 11 months along with her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, charged with murdering Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher on Nov. 1, 2007.
A third person, Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede has already been convicted of taking part in the murder and been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Knox has been in jail for two years while the investigation and trial slowly ground on.
Someone from Knox's family has been in court throughout the long trial, and her extended family has been in Perugia for the summation this week.
Kercher's family also arrived in Perugia today for the verdict. Her family has stayed away from the trial and kept quiet except when they were called to testify.
Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, told ABC News' "Good Morning America" that they haven't reached out to Kercher's family, but hope to if their daughter is acquitted.
"We feel for them and we've said that repeatedly very publicly," Mellas said. "But we don't know how they're feeling. We don't know what they think and until they know that Amanda had nothing to do with this, it's kind of an awkward situation. But when that time comes, absolutely we'll reach out."
A lawyer for the Kercher family urged the jury to convict Knox in the days of the trial.
The Knox family is trying to remain upbet during the nerve wracking wait for the verdict.
"You know I think we're being as optimistic as we can be without being devastated if it doesn't go the right way," Mellas said.
If Knox is acquitted, her 20-year-old sister Deanna said, "I really have no idea" how she will react. "The first thing, the only thing I can think of is giving her the biggest hug I've ever given her in my entire life."
The family does not know what they will do if the jury votes for conviction.
"I don't know yet. We'll just make it work," Mellas said.
"We'll figure it out," Deanna Knox added.
Amanda Knox Family Says Prosecutor Has No Motive for Murder
Mellas said that in her final statement Knox used her time to thank the jury, people who had supported her and even the prosecutor because "she doesn't want to be bitter at them."
"She knows that it is his job to be the prosecutor. It is what he needs to do and she wants justice for the Kerchers. And she thinks that he's trying to do that for them," Mellas said.
Knox's mother was less forgiving about thde prosecutors and said they have come up with four different motives for the killing.
"They went to some kind of ritual killing. That didn't last very long because the pretrial judge threw it out," Mellas said. "And then they went to the sex game gone wrong and they had no evidence to support that. So then they went to just a rage killing. No evidence to support that. So now they went in their closing, their rebuttals to 'Oh we don't need – it's a motiveless crime. You don't need a motive.'"
Both Knox and Sollecito have said they were not at the cottage the night of the murder, and were instead at Sollecito's apartment where they smoked pot and made love.
Prosecutors countered, however, that DNA evidence placed them at the scene of the murder. A key piece was Sollecito's DNA on a clasp that had been cut away from Kercher's bra during the murder. Knox and Kercher's DNA were found mixed in blood in the bathroom. And DNA from Knox and Kercher was found on a knife in Sollecito's apartment.
Prosecutors also cited Knox's odd behavior in the days after the killing, her snuggling with Sollecito and doing a cartwheel while waiting to be questioned by police. They argued that it was indicative of a cold and unfeeling woman.
Defense lawyers, however, said the evidence was badly handled that allowed for contamination and the amount of some of the DNA was so minute that there wasn't enough to do a second, confirming test. The blade of the knife, they said, was not compatible with the cuts on Kercher's neck.
In addition, Knox hadn't behaved like a guilty murderer, calling the police to the scene and refusing offers from family members to have a have from the violence back home in Seattle or with an aunt in Germany. Instead, her lawyers said, Knox stayed to help the police.
Amanda Knox Also Faces Civil Suit, Slander Case
The defense also argued that they had already convicted the real murderer, Guede, who has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for his part in Kercher's killing. Guede's DNA was found on Kercher's body along with his bloody palm print on her pillow. Guede is appealing his conviction.
A serious hurdle for Knox was an admission she made during an all-night interrogation police that she had a vision that she was at the cottage during the murder. She later retracted that statement, saying it was made under duress when the Italian police were aggressive with her and hit her in the back of the head.
In addition to the murder, Knox simultaneously faced a civil trial in which the prosecutors sought $12 million in damages for the Kercher family, and a slander trial.
The slander charge came out of her odd "vision" confession. She told police at the time that Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner she worked for, was also at the crime scene. Lumumba was arrested, but later released and he sued Knox.