The Amanda Knox verdict is expected to be read around 8 p.m. local time in Perugia, Italy (2 p.m. Eastern Standard) a judge said Monday, on what could be the final day of a four-year long saga.
Knox gave her final plea at the conclusion of her appeals trial against a 26 year prison sentence for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in the university city of Perugia. During the emotional address Monday, Knox told the court for the last time that I did not kill, I did not rape, I did not steal. I was not there.
I want to go home to my life, she told the court. I don't want to be deprived of my life, my future, for something I have not done... I lived my life above all with Meredith. She was my friend. She was always kind to me.
Knox also made reference to the prosecution's name-calling, insisting that labels like diabolical witch and she-devil, which she was called by attorneys last week, were unjust and without foundation.
Knox was convicted of Kercher's murder in 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Should the jury reach a decision, Monday will be the last day of the her first appeal, which has taken nearly a year to conclude. Under Italian law, Knox is allowed two appeals trials.
This case isn't just about Knox. Raffaele Sollecito's murder charges are up for appeal as well, and Knox's ex-boyfriend is hoping to overturn a 25 year prison sentence.
I've never done anyone any harm. Never. In my whole life, Sollecito told the court. I've had to put up with, go on in, a nightmare.
The case is also about Kercher, above all else. The Leeds, England girl's mother and sister arrived in Perugia on Monday and are expected to sit near the Knox family while a judge reads the final verdict. The Kercher's have put their faith in the Italian justice system and are hoping that Knox's murder conviction will be upheld.
At this point, there is no predicting the outcome of the trial. The court heard testimony that supported both sides of the story and the prosecution has done a valiant job painting Knox as a calculating monster.
The physical evenidence may work in Knox's favor. Earlier in the appeal, independent, court-appointed experts told the Italian court in June that the DNA evidence was inconclusive, and could have been tainted during the investigation. Some reports also suggest that a knife found in Sollecito's flat was too large to have inflicted the particular wounds on Kercher's body.
The court ruled against retesting the DNA evidence, a move that could work in Knox's favor if judges feel that the findings are too inconclusive.