Amanda Knox Case: Key Players in Italian Murder Case

Faces made famous by a murder trial covered around the world.

ByABC News
October 1, 2011, 1:09 PM

Oct 3, 2011— -- intro: In 2007 Amanda Knox arrived in Italy, a 20-year-old study abroad student eager to experience another culture 6,000 miles away from her Seattle home. Less than halfway into the semester, her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was murdered. Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested for the murder, and a jury in Perugia, Italy eventually found them guilty of murder.

Now, after four years, Knox and Sollecito are appealing their conviction and sentence.

A verdict is expected today as final arguments wrapped up last week.

Her family is hopeful that the conviction will be thrown out and she will be allowed to return home to Washington state.

Here are the key players who have made this case so compelling.

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category: Who's Who: The Amanda Knox Trial

title: Amanda Knox

text: Amanda Knox has become the subject of books, movies and innumerable news stories since her November 2007 arrest for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

Attracted by the gruesome murder as well as Knox's good looks -- she was dubbed the "angel face with icy eyes" by one tabloid -- her trial riveted attention in Italy, Britain and the U.S.

When she was convicted and sentenced to 26 years in prison, many Americans were outraged for the way evidence was handled and by comments and speculation made by prosecutors.

Knox was 20 when she arrived in Perugia, a slightly kooky free spirit with a knack for languages. She gave conflicting accounts of what happened on the night of the murder. And she was widely criticized for her behavior shortly after; she was captured on camera kissing her boyfriend outside the murder scene. Authorities said she was doing cartwheels at the police station while she waiting to be questioned by police. Knox has said that she was actually performing a yoga move in an attempt to relax during a difficult time.

She was crushed by her conviction, but her family says she is hopeful that she will be exonerated and is daydreaming of catching up on Harry Potter movies, and lying in the grass of her Seattle back yard.

She still faces charges of slandering Perugia police for claiming during her trial that the police abused her and cuffed her on the back of her head.

After four years in an Italian prison, Knox has, at times, seemed fragile and less naive. Meanwhile she has become fluent in Italian.

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quicklist: 2

category: Who's Who: The Amanda Knox Trial

title: Raffaele Sollecito

text: Sollecito, now 27, was a shy Italian student who had met Knox and started sleeping with her about a week before the murder occurred. Within days he was arrested and charged with murder. Prosecutors claim he was taking part in a sex game gone wrong, and that he was merely a puppet willing to do anything Amanda asked of him.

He has been locked up since his arrest in November 2007 and is facing a 25-year prison term.

His defense team has coordinated their appeal with Amanda Knox's team and their verdicts will come at the same time.

Sollecito's father, a doctor, was angry over his son's ties to Knox.

"She has ruined my son's life," Sollecito's father Francesco Sollecito told ABC News in 2007. "I damn the day he met her."

But Raffaele Sollecito has remained friendly with Knox, though only able to mouth words to her, exhange notes and steal glances during court appearances. They have remained friends despite Knox sending Sollecito a note ending their brief and star-crossed affair.