***UPDATE: Amanda Knox's murder conviction was overturned in Italian court, though she faces fines for defamation.

On Monday, Amanda Knox pleaded for her life in a Perugia, Italy courtroom as she awaited the verdict of her appeal after four years behind bars.

I've lost a friend in the worst, most brutal, most inexplicable way possible, she said of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, a fellow student and friend with whom she shared an apartment.

I'm paying with my life for things that I didn't do, Knox added.

It was in September of 2007 that the then 20-year-old Seattle native traveled to Perugia, Italy - a city with a reputation of welcoming foreigners. Just two months later, the body of 21-year-old Kercher was discovered behind a locked door in the pair's shared house. Kercher's throat was slashed.

Images taken just outside the murder scene of Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were used to define and condemn the American as foxy knoxy, a ruthless killer with the face of an angel.

During 50 hours of interrogation that spanned four days and included an all-night session with 36 officers, Knox implicated herself, signing a statement saying that she was in the house when her boss, local bar owner Patrick Lumumba, killed Kercher.

Knox, Sollecito, and Lumumba were all arrested.

Controversial prosecutor Giuliano Mignini (who was known to have penchant for sensationalism and who many claim used the Knox case to redeem himself for the botched Monster of Florence case) theorized that Kercher had been involved in a ritualistic satanic sex orgy.

The claims were vaguely reminiscent of his theories on the Monster of Florence case and propelled the Kercher murder into the realms of the Italian and British tabloid press.

The press, eager to put out the latest news, dug up damning photographs of Knox and Sollecito on the Internet and twisted Knox's MySpace nickname, Foxy Knoxy, into proof of her promiscuity.

After Lumumba was found to have an airtight alibi, an international manhunt led to the arrest of Rudy Guede. Guede's fingerprint and DNA were found in Kercher's room and he was tried and convicted of murder in 2008.

In an odd twist, Knox was voted woman of the year by Italian television on the eve of her trial in January 2009. The trial became a worldwide phenomenon and Knox's courtroom antics were often a heated subject. Knox was seen in the courtroom smiling and on Valentine's Day, she wore an All You Need is Love T-shirt.

The prosecution presented DNA evidence (that has since been disputed) that they claimed proved Knox was the killer. She and Sollecito were convicted of murder and Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison.

During her appeal trial, which began in the summer of 2011, a scientific panel appointed by the court found that the DNA used to convict Knox was unreliable. Key witnesses, including a homeless heroin addict, were discredited.

Knox is expected to learn her fate on Monday. The Kerchers arrived in a Perugia hotel and were expected to be in court for the verdict.

If she is freed, it is unclear how Knox will be taken out of Italy, though it would likely remain a well-kept secret.