MILAN, Italy (AP) - No murder weapon. Faulty DNA. No motive. Even the time of death was wrong by nearly an hour. The Italian appeals court that cleared Amanda Knox in the killing of her roommate explained its ruling on Thursday: The evidence just didn't hold up.
In a 143-page document that criticized nearly every stage of the investigation that led to the conviction of Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, the appeals court said the lower court didn't even prove they were in the house when Knox's British roommate, Meredith Kercher, was killed.
Kercher was found slain in a pool of blood in the house she shared with Knox in the Italian city of Perugia.
Knox and Sollecito, who had just begun dating, were arrested several days later, then convicted in what prosecutors portrayed as a drug-fueled sexual assault. They were sentenced to 26 years and 25 years, respectively, in proceedings that made headlines around the world.
The Perugia appellate court, which acquitted the two in October after reviewing the lower court's evidence and conducting new hearings of its own, criticized the "building blocks" of the conviction and the failure to identify a motive.
The guilty verdict "was not corroborated by any objective element of evidence and in itself was not, in fact, probable: the sudden choice of two young people, good and open to other people, to do evil for evil's sake, just like that, without another reason," wrote presiding Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann.