Knox Trial Witness Points Finger at Guede

Defense questions witness who describes Guede's criminal past.

ByABC News
June 26, 2009, 12:42 PM

ROME, June 26, 2009— -- In what defense lawyer Luca Maori said was "the most positive hearing for the defense so far," an important and interesting twist emerged today in U.S. student Amanda Knox's murder trial in Perugia, Italy.

A defense witness testified that just two weeks before British exchange student Meredith Kercher was murdered, his law studio was broken into and a computer and cell phone were stolen. The stolen objects were later found in the possession of Rudy Guede, who has already been convicted for his role in Kercher's murder.

Paolo Brocchi, a lawyer whose office is not far from where Kercher was killed, told the court that the thief had entered his office through a window that had been broken with a large rock.

A similar scenario was found in the cottage where Kercher was killed Nov. 1, 2007.

Knox, 21, and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, have been on trial since January, accused of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher, 21. Both deny any involvement.

Guede, 22, who will likely be the focus of the testimony of a number of upcoming defense witnesses, has already been convicted of Kercher's murder and sexual assault and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He admits to being in the house when Kercher died, but says he did not kill her. Prosecutors believe Kercher was killed by Knox, Sollecito and Guede during a sex game that went wrong.

The defense teams for Knox and Sollecito maintain, instead, that one person alone is responsible for the murder -- a thief who broke into the cottage Knox and Kercher shared.

Maori, Sollecito's lawyer, told reporters in Perugia that today "it was shown clearly and unequivocally that Guede had committed a theft that was a photocopy of the one that took place in Meredith's house."

In fact, the story Brocchi and his colleague Alberto Palazzoli told in court today not only bore a close resemblance to what was found in Kercher's house, but it also painted an even more bizarre picture of Guede than has already emerged.