Timeline:Verdict soon in Kercher murder appeal hearing

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 26, 2011 9:55 AM
Timeline:Verdict soon in Kercher murder appeal hearing

(Reuters) - Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are appealing a 2009 verdict that found them guilty of murdering British student Meredith Kercher.

Here is a timeline of the main events In the case:

November 2, 2007 -- The body of Kercher is found with a deep stab wound in the throat, in the apartment she shared with American student Knox in the central Italian town of Perugia.

Nov 6 - Knox, Sollecito, and bar owner Patrick Diya Lumumba are questioned by Italian police.

November 19 - Police say they are seeking a fourth suspect, named as Rudy Hermann Guede, from Ivory Coast. He is arrested the next day in the German city of Mainz. On the same day Lumumba is released without charge from prison in Rome.

April 1, 2008 - Knox, Sollecito and Guede lose their appeals to be released from prison and are told they will stay behind bars until they are charged or released.

October 28, 2008 - Guede is sentenced to 30 years in jail for taking part in Kercher's murder, but the sentence is cut back to 16 years on appeal in 2009.

-- Judge Paolo Micheli also orders Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, to stand trial on murder charges.

January 16, 2009 - Trial of Knox and Sollecito begins.

December 5 - A court sentences Knox to 26 years in prison and jails her now ex-boyfriend for 25 years after they are found guilty of murdering Meredith Kercher during a drunken sex assault.

-- Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito say they will appeal the sentences and Knox's family denounce the verdict as a "failure of the Italian judicial system."

November 8, 2010 - An Italian court orders Knox to stand trial for slandering police officers during the murder investigation.

November 24, 2010 - Knox and Sollecito's appeal against their convictions starts and is adjourned. It resumes on December 11.

December 16 - Guede's conviction is confirmed by Italy's highest appeals court.

June 29, 2011 - An independent forensic report discredits police evidence used to help convict Knox.

July 25 - Two court-appointed experts, Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti, tell an appeal hearing the knife thought to have been used to kill Kercher carried no trace of blood but may have been contaminated with other DNA traces.

September 23 - Prosecutors display gruesome crime scene photos.

September 24 - Prosecutors ask the court to keep Knox and Sollecito behind bars for life.

September 26 - Patrick Lumumba's lawyer Carlo Pacelli tells the appeals court, that Knox's lies in an instant destroyed his image. Knox had initially accused Lumumba of killing Kercher, but said she had been under pressure from police.

(Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)