Amanda Knox was acquitted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher on Monday night in Perugia, Italy.
A judged ruled in favor of Knox, as well as co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito, in their first appeals trial four years after Kercher was killed. When the verdict was read, Knox broke down in tears as cheers erupted in the court room.
However, the scene outside the court was very different. Hundreds of people gathered to watch the spectacle, many of them upset by the acquittal. When Knox's sister delivered a brief statement, there were chants of murderer and lots of loud whistling and chanting.
The verdict was delivered one-and-a-half hours after the promised 8 p.m. deadline, an indication that the jury did not have an easy time with the decision.
Knox gave what would later become her final address to the court ever earlier in the day Monday, saying again that she didn't kill Kercher. In the passionate and emotional speech, Knox said that she wants to find justice over her friend's murder as much as anyone, but that the last four years have changed her forever.
I didn't rape. I didn't steal. I was not there, she said in Italian. We had a good relationship. We were all available to each other. I shared my life, especially with Meredith. We had a friendship. We were friends. She was concerned for me. She was always kind to me. She cared about me.
Earlier in the day, Kercher's family spoke to the media in Perugia while jurors deliberated. The British student's family said that no matter the final verdict, they were not ready to forgive Knox.
We were satisfied with the verdict... Nothing's changed, Kercher's sister Stephanie Kercher told reporters.
Knox and Sollecito arrived in court around 8:30 p.m. local time. Rumors around that time surfaced that the Knox family had been told of the verdict about an hour ahead of time. If that was true, they did a commendable job hiding their emotions.
The two students were convicted of murder in 2009, and the 10-month long appeals trial that ended Monday was the first of two possible appeals granted by Italian law.
Despite the ruling, Knox was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison for slandering Patrick Lumumba, whom she accused of the murder in 2007. But, since Knox has already served nearly four years in prison, she will be free.
Knox has returned to Perugia's Capanne prison to officially end her stay there. She will reportedly head to Rome immediately and board a commuter flight with her family and go home to San Francisco.