American student Amanda Knox has been acquitted by an Italian appeals court of murdering and sexually assaulting her roommate Meredith Kercher.

Knox has been serving a 26-year sentence after Kercher was found stabbed to death in the apartment the two shared in Perugia, Italy some four years ago.

 I'm paying with my life for things that I didn't do, Knox told the courtroom earlier Monday.

Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who was serving a 25-year sentence, was also found not guilty.

Knox broke down in tears as the verdict was read, according to the Associated Press.

The case became a cable news fixture, in part because the sensational accusations of a drug fueled sexual assault and murder were leveled at the clean-cut looking Knox.

Moreover, the lack of strong physical evidence linking Knox to the crime scene and the heavy-handed interrogation methods employed by the Italian police added credence to the charges that this was a gross miscarriage of justice.

An independent review found that police had made significant errors in their investigation that threw into question the traces of Knox's DNA that were discovered on a knife and bra clasp.

For cable news watchers there was another silver lining. The Knox verdict also allowed for a few moments of respite in the wall-to-wall coverage of Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray's manslaughter trial.