Key dates in Italy murder case

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2009 5:17 AM

Crucial dates in the slaying of British student Meredith Kercher and the subsequent investigation involving U.S. student Amanda Knox, Italian Raffaele Sollecito and Ivorian citizen Rudy Hermann Guede.

_ Nov. 2, 2007. The body of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher is found in a pool of blood in the apartment she shared with Amanda Knox in Perugia, central Italy. Investigators say she died from a stab wound to the neck.

_ Nov. 6, 2007. Knox is arrested in connection with the slaying. Also arrested are Knox's then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of Italy; and the Congolese owner of a Perugia pub where Knox worked, Diya "Patrick" Lumumba.

_ Nov. 20, 2007. Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede is arrested in Germany after an international manhunt. He was wanted in Italy in connection to the slaying. Lumumba, who had been implicated by Knox's statements to the police in the aftermath of the killing, is released from jail for lack of evidence.

_ Nov. 21, 2007. Guede, awaiting extradition to Italy, tells German court that he was in Kercher's room but insists he is innocent.

_ Dec. 6, 2007. Guede is extradited from Germany. He is picked up by Italian authorities and jailed.

_ Dec. 14, 2007. Kercher is laid to rest after a private funeral service in south London.

_ Apr. 1, 2008. The Court of Cassation, Italy's top criminal court, rejects requests by defense lawyers for the release of Knox, Sollecito and Guede and orders them to remain in jail.

_ Sept. 9, 2008. Guede's lawyers ask for a fast-track trial. The procedure, in which evidence is presented in document form and no witnesses testify, is quicker and leads to lesser sentences if the suspect is found guilty.

_ Sept. 16, 2008. Knox appears in court at the opening of a preliminary hearing to determine whether she and the other two suspects must face trial. Sollecito is not in court. Guede, who attends the hearing, is granted the fast-track trial sought by his lawyers.

_ Oct. 28, 2008. Judge Paolo Micheli orders Knox and Sollecito to stand trial on charges of murder and sexual assault. The same judge also convicts Guede of murder and sexual assault and sentences him to 30 years in prison.

_ Jan. 16, 2009. Trial of Knox and Sollecito opens in Perugia before presiding Judge Giancarlo Massei.

_ June 6, 2009. Kercher's mother, Arline Kercher, tells court in emotional testimony that she will never get over her daughter's brutal death.

_ June 12, 2009. Knox takes the stand. She tells the court that she was shocked by Kercher's death, offers an alibi for the night of the murder and says police beat her into making a false statement in the case.

_ Nov. 18, 2009. Guede's appeals trial opens. Guede testifies that he heard Kercher arguing with Knox minutes before she was slain.

_ Nov 21, 2009. Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini requests life sentences for Knox and Sollecito. Knox addresses the court minutes later to say the accusations against her are "pure fantasy."

_ Dec. 4, 2009. Eight-member jury begins deliberations on verdict.