Testimony at Amanda Knox Trial Centers on Prints, DNA

DNA on victim's bra clasp puts Knox former boyfriend at the scene of the crime.

ByABC News
May 8, 2009, 2:50 PM

PERUGIA, Italy May 8, 2009— -- It took Italian police investigating the murder of Amanda Knox's roommate three weeks to find a piece of the victim's bra, but when the missing piece was found it was determined to include the DNA of Knox's former boyfriend and co-defendant.

The section of the bra that includes the clasps is the only piece of evidence so far that places Raffaele Sollecito at the scene of the crime.

Knox, 21, of Seattle, Wash., and Sollecito, 25, are on trial for the Nov. 1, 2007, murder of Knox's roommate Meredith Kercher. Both women were studying in Italy and shared a cottage with two Italian women.

A third person, Rudi Guede, 22, has already been convicted of taking part in the murder, which prosecutors claim occurred when Kercher, who was from England, refused to take part in a sex game.

Testimony in court today centered on fingerprints and evidence collection.

Only one fingerprint belonging to Knox was found in the house she had shared with Kercher and two Italian women. Giuseppe Privitera, a police print expert, testified that a print from Knox's right index finger was identified on a glass found in the sink.

A total of 61 prints were taken into evidence at the scene of the crime. Of these, all but 13 were identified as belonging to various people who had been in the house. Five prints belonged to Sollecito, said Privitera, two of which were found on the outside of Kercher's bedroom door.

Only one print belonging to Guede was identified, but it was significant. His bloody palm-print was found on a pillow under Kercher's body. The blood was Kercher's blood.

For the second time, the court was shown a video of investigators working at the crime scene. This video was made on Dec. 18, 2007, more than a month after the crime, and shows a very different scenario than what was found right after the murder.

Investigators had returned to the house to collect specific pieces of evidence they had not gathered on the first three days of inspection at the beginning of November. One of the most important things they had come to find was a missing fragment of the victim's bra, the end part with the hooks.

Video At Amanda Knox Trial Shows Crime Scene Turned Upside Down

Sollecito's DNA was later found on the hooks of the bra and is the only evidence that puts him on the scene of the crime.

Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito did not challenge the description of the fingerprints. The DNA evidence won't be officially introduced into the trial until next week.

The video shown in court, which both defendants watched attentively, showed the house turned upside down, with clothes and objects piled everywhere.

"The crime scene had been searched in the meantime," explained Giulia Bongiorno, defense lawyer for Sollecito.

"People had gone through the room turning things upside down, and they then came back to look for the piece of the bra," Bongiorno told journalists after the hearing. "You cannot think to take something into evidence after a room has been searched," she added.

Sollecito's defense is intent on proving that the crime scene had been contaminated.

Sollecito, an information technology graduate, came to the prosecution's aid in court today when prosecutor Manuela Comodi could not get her computer to work and asked Sollecito for help.

With a computer in front of him, Sollecito was able to bring up the pertinent video that was projected on a screen in the courtroom.

Also on Friday, the testimony of a key defendant – a forensic biologist who was to have testified the next day about crucial DNA evidence - was postponed when the prosecution mentioned yet another crime scene video that the defense had never seen.

Lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito asked to see the video and be able to show it to their consultants before this key witness appears. It is not clear what the video, which was originally said to have been corrupted but was recently restored, might show of the crime scene. Comodi said the prosecution had just received the restored video a week ago.

Enzo Beretta contributed to this report