Amanda Knox Found Guilty In Italian Court: Her Story, Explained

Amanda Knox is back in court and in headlines.
amanda knox explainer

The trial of Amanda Knox, an American exchange student who was accused of murdering her roommate in Italy, gripped the entire world. Just 21 at the time, Knox was subject to a legal saga and associated media circus that thrust her to worldwide fame.

While eventually exonerated of the murder accusations, Knox, now 36, is back in court (and in headlines) after being found guilty of slander. 

amanda knox and husband attending 2024 slander trial
Amanda Knox and her husband at her slander trial in 2024. Image: Getty

The Italian court found Knox was guilty of slander for wrongly accusing Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba of killing Meredith Kercher, Knox’s roommate.

If you’re just getting familiar (or reacquainting yourself) with Knox’s case, allow us to assist. 

What Happened In The Trial Of Amanda Knox

Amanda Knox was on exchange in the Italian town of Perugia, where she shared a home with a fellow exchange student from Britain, Meredith Kercher.

On November 2, 2007, Meredith Kercher was found dead in her bedroom, with her throat cut and signs of sexual assault. The brutal nature of the crime shocked the community and quickly attracted media attention.

Local police quickly focused their attention on Knox, her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede, an Ivorian immigrant. Knox and Sollecito were arrested on November 6, based on circumstantial evidence and what police claimed were inconsistent statements made by Knox during police interrogations.  

amanda knox during trial with italian police
Amanda Knox was once accused – and then acquitted – of murder. Image: Getty

Guede, who fled to Germany shortly after the murder, was extradited to Italy and eventually convicted in a separate trial. He admitted to being in the house but blamed Knox and Sollecito for the murder. 

First Trial (2009): In the first trial, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were tried together, with the prosecution alleging that Kercher was killed in a ‘drug-fuelled sex game gone wrong’, and suggested DNA evidence and Knox’s behaviour as reasoning to this claim. Knox and Sollecito have always maintained their innocence.

amanda knox during her trial
Knox spent four years in Italian prison. Image: Getty

In December 2009, both defendants were found guilty. Knox received a 26-year sentence, and Sollecito 25 years.

First Appeal (2011)

The case went through an appeals process, during which independent forensic experts challenged the reliability of the police’s DNA evidence. In October 2011, the appeals court acquitted Knox and Sollecito, citing insufficient evidence, and they were released.

Supreme Court Overturn (2013)

The case returned to Italy’s Supreme Court, who later annulled the acquittal, ordering a retrial, arguing that critical evidence had not been properly considered.

Retrial (2014)

The retrial re-convicted Knox and Sollecito, reinstating their original sentences. However, by this time, Knox was back in the United States.

Final Acquittal (2015)

In March 2015, Italy’s Supreme Court definitively acquitted Knox and Sollecito again, citing glaring errors and a lack of conclusive evidence. (Meanwhile, Guede was released from prison in 2020 after serving most of his sentence.)

amanda knox after acquittal
Amanda Knox after being acquitted. Image: Getty

‘Foxy Knoxy’ And The Media Response, Explained

The international media response to Amanda Knox’s trial has been heavily critiqued and condemned as it played a significant role in colouring perceptions of the 21-year-old Knox. 

The moniker ‘Foxy Knoxy’ was plastered across tabloid newspapers and websites, sensationalising the trial and describing Knox as a femme fatale-type figure.

Speaking to media in 2019, Knox claimed the media treatment prevented her from having a fair trial.

“It was impossible for me to have a fair trial,” she said. “I became the dirty, psychopathic, man-eating Foxy Knoxy.”

“They convicted that doppelganger. That person was sentenced to 26 years in jail,” she added.

Knox’s media treatment was put under the microscope in the Amanda Knox Netflix documentary

Where Is Amanda Knox Now?

amanda knox now
Amanda Knox in 2019. Image: Getty

Since her final acquittal, Amanda Knox has returned to a relatively private life in Seattle. She is married to author Christopher Robinson, with whom she shares two children. 

In 2013 she wrote a memoir, Waiting to Be Heard, detailing her experience.  

A journalist herself, Knox hosts a podcast called The Truth About True Crime. She also formerly hosted a limited interview series on Vice and Facebook called The Scarlet Letter Reports

She continues to advocate in the justice arena, particularly regarding instances of trial by media.

The 2024 Slander Conviction

In June 2024, Knox was found guilty of slander by an Italian court, regarding accusations she made during her own police interrogation in 2007. 

At the time, Knox accused a local bar owner, Patrick Lumumba of killing Kercher, which was found to be untrue. Lumumba was held for two weeks in prison after Knox’s allegation.

As part of her defence, Knox apologised for making the accusations.

“The police threatened me with 30 years in prison, an officer slapped me three times saying ‘Remember, remember’,” Knox told the courts, as reported by the ABC

“I am very sorry that I was not strong enough to resist the pressure of police.

“I didn’t know who the murderer was. I had no way to know.”

Knox was sentenced to three years in prison. However, having already served four years for her overturned murder conviction, Knox will not serve any further time in jail.

Related stories