28 Mar 2015

Meredith Kercher murder acquittals: timeline

The decision to overturn the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Meredith Kercher may bring to an end a saga that began in a bedroom in Perugia seven years ago.

Amanda Knox, Meredith Kercher, Raffaele Sollecito

1 November 2007

Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old from Coulsdon, Surrey, is sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom while studying in Perugia, Italy.

6 November 2007

Her flatmate Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba (who owns a pub where Knox sometimes works) are arrested in connection with the murder.

19 November 2007

The Rome forensic police match fingerprints found in Kercher’s bedroom to Rudy Guede – a local drug dealer.

20 November 2007

Guede is arrested in Germany and Lumumba is released. The prosecution later charges Guede for the murder, but retains the allegations against Knox and Sollecito – who plead not guilty.

28 October 2008

Guede is found guilty of murder and sexual assault, and sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment. Knox and Sollecito are charged with murder and sexual assault.

16 January 2009

Knox and Sollecito’s trial gets underway in Perugia, Italy. The charges are that Knox and Sollecito (along with Guede) murdered Kercher in her bedroom.

The three prosecution pathologists say a knife found in Sollecito’s kitchen, which the prosecution has said was the murder weapon, is compatible with the most serious of the neck wounds, but not other ones.

June 2009

Knox testifies that she had been with Sollecito at his flat all night and had no knowledge of the murder. She also accuses Italian police of hitting her on the head during her interrogation.

5 December 2009

Knox, by now 22, is convicted on charges of faking a break-in, slander, sexual violence and murder, and sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment. Sollecito is sentenced to 25 years.

November 2010

The appeal (or second grade) trial begins. A court-ordered review of the contested DNA evidence by independent experts notes numerous basic errors in the gathering and analysis of the evidence.

29 June 2011

DNA evidence used in the prosecution of Knox and Sollecito is deemed unreliable by an independent report requested by Italy’s appeals court.

3 October 2011

Knox is cleared after a court overturns her conviction for the murder of British student Kercher. Sollecito also walks free from prison.

4 October 2011

Knox arrives back in the USA, nearly four years after her arrest.

26 March 2013

The highest criminal court in Italy orders a retrial for Knox and Sollecito after reversing an appeals court’s reversal of their convictions.

30 January 2014

An Italian court convicts Knox and Sollecito for stabbing Kercher to death. Sollecito is again sentenced to 25 years, while Knox, who has remained in the US, receives an increased sentence of 28 years and six months.

27 March 2015

The supreme cassation court in Rome overturns the convictions of Knox and Sollecito.