June 18, 2011— -- A convicted child murderer testified in an Italian courtroom today that American college student Amanda Knox was not involved in the 2007 murder of her roommate.
Mario Alessi, who was convicted in the kidnapping and murder of an Italian toddler, said he was told by drifter Rudy Guede that Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were innocent and were not connected to the murder of Knox's roommate and that Guede's friend stabbed to death.
Alessi claimed that "a knife appeared, almost out of nowhere," and quoted Guede as saying that it was pointed at Kercher's throat after she refused to have sex with Guede and his friend, The Associated Press reported.
Alessi was one of several witnesses who testified in Knox's appeals hearing today.
Knox, a student from Seattle, and Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of Kercher's brutal murder in November 2007.
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Knox was sentenced to 26 years and Sollecito was given 25 years following their conviction in 2009.
Guede was also convicted of the murder and is serving a 16-year sentence.
Guede's saliva was found on the victim, his hand prints in blood were on the bedroom wall, his fingerprints were in the room, and his DNA was on the victim's bra and purse.
Guede was convicted after a fast-track trial. His appeal was rejected.
Alessi's allegation has been denied by Guede.
Alessi claimed that he and Guede became friends while in prison but broke off the relationship after Guede told him "two innocent people were in jail."
Three other witnesses were called to support Alessi's allegation, including Marco Castelluccio, a police informant.
Catelluccio testified that he heard Guede say that Knox and Sollecito were innocent, the AP reported.
A lawyer for the Kercher family challenged Alessi's credibility by bringing up his criminal record.
ABC News Radio, Nikki Battiste, Phoebe Natanson and Zachary Nowak and The Associated Press contributed to this report.