Family Sees 'Disappointed, Upset' Amanda Knox in Jail After Conviction

Victim's family calmly pleased, but adds it's "not a time for celebration."

December 4, 2009, 10:47 PM

PERUGIA, Italy, Dec. 5, 2009— -- Amanda Knox is sitting in jail "extremely disappointed [and] upset" after being convicted of murdering her British roomate, Meredith Kercher, Knox's mother said after her family's jailhouse visit today.

Meanwhile, the day after the court conviction, Kercher's family told an assembled press throng they are relieved and satisfied by the guilty verdicts, but not exultant.

"We're pleased that we got decision but it's not a time for celebration," said Lyle Kercher, Meredith Kercher's brother. "[It is] not a moment of triumph."

"At the end of the day, we're gathered here because our sister was brutally murdered and taken away from us," he continued. "Of course, there were two very young people who have been sentenced [Friday] to a very long time behind bars."

A jury found Knox, 22, and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 25, guilty in the killing of Kercher on Nov. 1, 2007. It sentenced Knox to 26 years in prison and Sollecito to 25.

Knox's father, Curt Knox, mother Edda Mellas and three of Amanda Knox's sisters arrived at the Capanne prison today to visit Amanda after being unable to speak to her immediately after the verdict Friday.

"Amanda, like the rest of us, is extremely disappointed, upset about the decision; we're all in shock," Mellas told reporters outside the jail, just after visiting her daughter. "We're all heartened by the support, not only from the people of Perugia, many Italians, all over. People from all over the world have been sending us messages of support all through the night.

"We told her she's going to get out of here, [but] it's going to take a little longer," said Mellas, as her eyes welled up with tears.

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Prosecutors claimed Knox committed the crime while in a rage over being criticized by Kercher.

When asked if the Kercher family was satisfied with the guilty verdicts, Meredith Kercher's mother, Arline Kercher, said," If the evidence has been presented, then yes, you have to agree with that verdict.

"At the end of the day," she added, "you have to go on the evidence because there's nothing else."

The Kerchers were awarded roughly $6.5 million in compensation for the murder, but Lyle Kercher said that the figure was largely a symbolic one that reflected the "severity and gravity of the case."

"Money will never bring anything or change anything," he said.

Family members said they are aware they will have to relive the pain of Kercher's killing throughout the appeals process.

"We were fully prepared for that fact," said Kercher's sister, Stephanie. "We have to handle it as it happens."

Knox Family: Judge 'Couldn't Even Look Us in the Eyes'

Knox's family voiced anger after the verdict, saying that the judge, who was part of the jury and read the verdict, couldn't look them in the eye.

"I was just stunned," Curt Knox told ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas in an exclusive interview just hours after the jury convicted Knox.

"I just looked at them; I looked at the jurors," he added. "I went down eye to eye with each one of them and just looked at them and said, 'How could you even do this with what was presented in the court of law?' And for that matter, the judge, he didn't even raise his head while he read the verdict."

Deanna Knox, Amanda Knox's younger sister, told Vargas that the judge "couldn't even look us in the eyes, or look my sister in the eyes."

Curt and Deanna Knox said moments after the verdict was announced they were tormented.

The Knoxes said it was hard to watch Amanda being taken away.

"More than you know," Curt Knox said.

It was heart-rending, they said, because Deanna could hear her sister "wail" as she was taken out of the courtroom. But they weren't allowed to talk to her.

"No, they wouldn't let us," he said.

"We yelled across the courtroom as they were taking her away that we love her because we couldn't see her," Deanna Knox said.

When asked if Amanda Knox heard them or looked back at them, Deanna Knox said, "We couldn't see her."

"She was in the arms of one of her attorneys," Curt Knox said.

After summations earlier this week, the Knox family hoped that their lawyers' arguments had convinced the six jurors and two judges that the prosecution failed to provide a convincing motive, that the DNA evidence had been mishandled and was faulty, that the alleged murder weapon didn't match the cuts on Kercher's body, and Amanda Knox hadn't acted like a guilty person, staying in Perugia after the murder rather than fleeing.

Amanda Knox's Father Hopes State Department Will Get Involved

Knox's father made little effort to hide his contempt for the court's verdict.

"Anger, disbelief" was how Curt Knox described his reaction. "How a judicial system can even come up with a verdict like this, it's beyond me."

Deanna Knox, who is 20, said, "I feel like this trial has failed their own system. This is completely unjust. I'm in complete shock."

Curt Knox called his daughter's conviction and sentencing a "flat failure of the Italian judicial system and a failure of the city of Perugia," the university town where Amanda Knox and Kercher were attending school.

He said it was "telltale" that the court sentenced Amanda to 26 years instead of life in prison like the prosecution demanded.

"I'm not sure they really believe in what they came about," he said.

He noted that Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., condemned the sentence today and had spoken to the Italian embassy and to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the verdict.

When asked if he expected the State Department to get involved in his daughter's case, Curt Knox said, "I would be very disappointed if they didn't, very disappointed."

Deanna Knox was defiant.

"We're not accepting it," she said. "We will bring her home."

The Knox family already has spent more than $1 million in hiring a legal team and keeping a family member in Italy at all times to visit Amanda.

When asked how he will pay for an appeal and to keep someone in Italy, Curt Knox said, "We'll figure it out. She will not be left here."

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