Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted of murdering Meredith Kercher on Monday when an Italian court overturned the four-year old murder conviction and freed both prisoners.

Knox was found guilty of defamation and was sentenced to a fine and time served.

Knox and former boyfriend Sollecito were convicted of murdering Knox's flatmate Kercher in 2007.

When the verdict reversal was announced, Knox collapsed in tears, and moments later was shuffled from the court.  Earlier Monday she had been reported to be playing guitar and singing religious sounds in anticipation of a favorable ruling.  

Knox delivered a heartfelt appeal earlier Monday in fluent Italian (though she barely spoke the language four years ago). Knox maintained her innocence, insisting again that she was not at the flat at the time of Kercher's murder, and claiming that if she had been, she might be a victim herself.

Some believe that her speech might have helped sway the jury to overturn the guilty verdict.

Amanda and Raffaele gave a wonderful speech to the court. We feel she did a tremendous job. So courageous, in poise and eloquence. It was just beautifully said, and all Amanda, family friend Tom Wright told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

Shortly after the verdict was announced, Amanda's sister addressed the crowd: Some who were cheering in support, some who were shouting murderer!

 We're thankful that the nightmare is over, Deanna Knox said. She has suffered for four years for a crime that she did not commit. We are thankful to the court for looking for the truth.

We now respectfully ask you to give her family the privacy to recover from this horrible ordeal.

Geoff Hill of CNN has been tweeting updates to the court announcement, and in a recent tweet said that crowds were chasing Sollecito's lawyer through Perugia shouting 'shame shame'.

Kercher's family was also inside the courtroom when the verdict was delivered but they have not yet made a new statement since the ruling was delivered.

Knox will need to be processed out of jail before she is freed. There is no confirmation on when she will return to the United States.  Knox is originally from Seattle, Wash.