New Hope? Mystery Man Blamed in Knox Case

Convict says killer Rudy Guede told him American was not at the murder scene.

ByABC News
March 6, 2010, 11:56 AM

ROME, March 6, 2010 — -- Surprise testimony emerged in Italy Friday indicating that American student Amanda Knox, who was recently convicted of murder in Perugia, Italy, was not present at the scene of the crime when her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, was killed.

This is just the latest twist in the ongoing Italian murder case involving Knox, 22, who was convicted in December along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, of sexually assaulting Kercher, then killing her by slashing her throat. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; Sollecito received 25 years.

A third person, Rudy Guede, 23, an Ivory Coast native, was convicted earlier of taking part in the murder. He was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but that term was reduced to 14 years on appeal.

On Friday the lawyers for Sollecito deposited video-taped testimony from a fellow convict of Rudy Guede, Mario Alessi, in which he says Guede confided to him in jail that Knox and Sollecito were not at the house when Kercher was killed but that another man was present. According to Alessi, Guede told him the man, who has never been mentioned or suspected, killed Kercher when he was in the bathroom. Guede did not reveal his name.

Guede has always admitted to being at the house the night of Kercher's murder (his palm print was found under the victim's body, and his DNA on her body and clothing), but has said in past statements that he was in the bathroom when Kercher was killed, and he found himself face to face with a knife-yielding man when he came out. He has never named Sollecito, and in his most recent statement, to the Perugia appeals court in November, Guede said he did not recognize the man wielding the knife, but that while in the bathroom he had heard and recognized Knox's voice as she argued with Kercher just before the killing. He said he saw Knox's "silhouette" leaving the house with a man, when he looked out the window.

Guede says he then tried to rescue Meredith but fled in a panic.