Shopkeeper Says He Saw Knox After Murder

Witness in U.S. student's Italian murder trial contradicts her account of events

ByABC News
March 21, 2009, 12:05 PM

ROME <br>March 21, 2009 -- American exchange student Amanda Knox visited a grocery store early the morning after her British roommate was murdered, in spite of a statement Knox gave Italian police that she had slept late at her boyfriend's home that day, according to witness testimony in court in Perugia, Italy, today.

Knox, 21 and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 24, are accused of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher, 21, who was found in her bedroom in a pool of blood with her throat slit on the morning of Nov. 2, 2007. A third suspect, Ivory Coast citizen Rudy Guede, was earlier sentenced to 30 years in jail for participating in the murder, which he denied.

In the 11th hearing of a trial expected to last through the summer, store owner Marco Quintavalle testified that he saw a young woman he later recognized as Amanda Knox enter his store at about 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2007. The defense questioned his account, asking why it had taken him a year to come forward with his story, even though police had questioned him in the days after the murder.

Quintavalle told prosecutor Giuliano Mignini that a young woman "with remarkable blue eyes" and a face so pale that he was struck by it entered his store just as he opened it that day.

She was wearing jeans, a grey jacket, and a hat, he said. She went to the upper level of the store, which is just down the road from Sollecito's house, without returning his greeting, Quintavalle said, and left shortly thereafter, heading down the street in the direction of the house where Kercher was killed. Quintavalle said he did not see if she had purchased anything because he was not at the cash register.

When newspapers published photographs of Amanda Knox after she was arrested four days later, Quintavalle said he recognized her as the young woman who had entered his shop.

Knox maintains that she spent the night Kercher was killed with Sollecito at his house, and says that she woke up late and left his house at around 10:30 a.m. to go back to her house to take a shower.