(CBS Seattle) — Seattle resident and University of Washington student Amanda Knox has been convicted of murder by an appeals court in Florence, Italy — a charge stemming from the 2007 death of her British roommate in Perugia. Knox said in a statement Thursday she is frightened and saddened by her “unjust” conviction.
Knox, 26, was sentenced to 28 years and 6 months in prison, according to multiple reports. Her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted and sentenced to 25 years. Knox’s lawyers say they will appeal.
This was Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s third trial for the murder of Meredith Kercher and it spanned four months. Deliberations lasted more than 11 hours, according to CBS News.
Though Sollecito was in the courtroom for the appeals court’s decision, Knox remains in Seattle where she has been since her acquittal in 2011. Italy will reportedly not seek Knox’s extradition until a verdict is finalized. Experts believe that process can take up to a year. In her statement, Knox blamed overzealous prosecutors and a “prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation” in what she calls her wrongful conviction.
Late last year, Knox emailed the Italian high court saying, “I didn’t kill. I didn’t rape. I didn’t rob. I didn’t plot. I didn’t instigate. I didn’t kill Meredith.” She claimed she was staying away from the trial out of fear of being wrongly convicted.
Italy’s highest court ordered a third trial for Knox and Sollecito in a scathing dismissal of the appeals court acquittal, ordering the examination of evidence and testimony it said had been improperly omitted by the Perugia appeals court, as well as instructing the court to redress what it defined as lapses in logic, according to CBS News.
SEE ALSO: The Amanda Knox Timeline
Meredith Kercher, 21, was brutally murdered in November 2007 in the apartment she shared with Knox in the picturesque university town of Perugia. She had been raped, stabbed dozens of times in the face, her throat slashed, her body left beneath a blanket in her bedroom.
Knox declared her innocence in Kercher’s death, and said the two were friends, without any conflict between then. She also said had no contact with Rudy Guede, a small-time drug-dealer who is serving a 16-year sentence for Kercher’s murder. Prosecutors claim Knox and Sollecito carried out the murder with Guede, whose conviction specifies that he did not act alone.
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