Amanda Knox Faces 23rd Birthday in Italian Prison

Mother bringing inmate daughter sundress and the fixings for crab cakes.

ByABC News
July 7, 2010, 8:33 PM

July 8, 2010— -- Amanda Knox will celebrate her 23rd birthday in an Italian prison with a birthday cake made by her cellmate and then later crab cakes to be cooked up on a camp stove in her cell.

Her mother and sister will be with Knox on Friday for her birthday, the third birthday the Seattle student will spend in prison. There will be hugs and gifts, but not the present she wants most.

"Amanda said to me, 'I wish I was home for my birthday, having a barbeque in the backyard with the family,'" mother Edda Mellas told ABC News.

Last December, Knox was convicted to 26 years in prison for the November 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Her legal team is preparing an appeal of her conviction.

Mellas and Amanda's younger sister, 21-year-old Deanna Knox, are in Perugia, Italy, to visit Knox. On Tuesday, they visited her for the twice weekly hour-long visits permitted. They will back at the prison Friday for the birthday party.

"We are bringing her presents from home. I bought her a sundress. Her cellmate is making her a cake which we will have in the visitation room. Then we will sing 'Happy Birthday' together. We always celebrate our birthdays together," said Mellas, whose own birthday is a day later on July 10.

Knox had one birthday request: the ingredients needed to make crab cakes.

"She wanted crab cakes on her birthday, so we brought her frozen crab and other ingredients. For her birthday meal, she will cook crab cakes on the camping stove in her cell," Mellas said.

This week was Deanna's first visit with her sister since her murder conviction.

"I hadn't d seen her for six months. She ran in with a big smile and we hugged for a few minutes ? we didn't let go. It was nice. But it was more difficult than other visits because it's getting close to her birthday. Anniversaries are hard. She is frustrated with her situation and why she's there. It was a tough visit."

She added that Knox's friends and family from Seattle sent birthday messages and a new pair of shoes for Amanda. The prison limits the number of items Amanda can receive.