Amanda Knox Judge Says She Killed Without Animosity
Judge concludes that grisly murder was the result of "casual contingencies."
ROME, March 4, 2010— -- The Italian judge who presided over the Amanda Knox murder case concluded in court papers released today that she killed her roommate "without any animosity or feeling of resentment," and that the grisly homicide was the result of "casual contingencies."
The written conclusion of the case by Judge Giancarlo Massei, obtained by ABC News, appears to contradict the prosecution's argument that the murder of Meredith Kercher in November 2007 was the result of Knox's explosive rage at her "prissy" roommate who complained about Knox's hygiene and for bringing male friends to their Perugia apartment late at night.
Despite the apparent rejection of the prosecution's motive for the murder, Massei wrote that the prosecution "presents a comprehensive and coherent picture, without holes or inconsistencies."
Knox, 22, was convicted in December along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, of sexually assaulting Kercher, who was 20 at the time, and then killing her by slashing her throat. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito got 25 years.
A third person convicted of taking part in the murder was Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede. He was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but that term was reduced to 14 years on appeal.
While prosecutors claimed during the trial the assault was initiated by Knox, the judge wrote that Kercher's death had an "erotic, sexual, violent" motive that was initiated by Guede "giving in to his lust." When Kercher turned him down, Knox and Sollecito joined in the effort to overpower Kercher because it "could have seemed particularly exciting," the report states.
Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer Theodore "Ted" Simon, a member of Knox's defense team, said he was "heartened" by what he read and called the court's written summation "the first step in having Amanda's wrongful conviction overturned.'
"The Court unequivocally rejected the prosecution's ever changing theories of the case by concluding there was no planning, no premeditation and this was not the result of any resentment," Simon told ABC News.
"After review and discussion with Italian counsel it appears that the motivation contains internal inconsistencies and relies upon conjecture and unproven facts," he said.
Simon said there are "substantial grounds upon which to appeal."
The appeal process in Italy consists of a full review of all the evidence by a new set of jurors and judges, who will re-evaluate the whole case, based on the paperwork.
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