Knox's judge says he suffered over guilty verdict

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Amanda Knox throughout her trial
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Knox's judge says he suffered over guilty verdict
Amanda Knox motions to cheering supporters as her mother, Edda Mellas, looks on at a news conference shortly after her arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Seattle. It's been four years since the University of Washington student left for the study abroad program in Perugia and landed in prison. The group Friends of Amanda Knox and others have been awaiting her return since an Italian appeals court on Monday overturned her conviction of sexually assaulting and killing her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Amanda Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, left, is chased by media as he arrives at Italy's highest court building, in Rome, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend expect to learn their fate Wednesday when Italy's highest court hears their appeal of their guilty verdicts in the brutal 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate. Several outcomes are possible, including confirmation of the verdicts, a new appeals round, or even a ruling that amounts to an acquittal in the sensational case that has captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno speaks to journalists as she arrives on March 25, 2015 at the Rome's Supreme Court for the reviewing of Sollecito's trial. The court will examine the verdict that found Raffaele Sollecito and his former lover American Amanda Knox guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian university town of Perugia in 2007, in a case that has captivated the world with its sub-texts of drugs, alleged sexual debauchery and police bungling. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Amanda Knox puts her hand to her forehead while making a television appearance, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 in New York. Knox said she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to "never go willingly" to face her fate in that country's judicial system . "I'm going to fight this to the very end," she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America." (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, center, reads out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, center, reads out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. Writing above reads in Italian "The Law is Equal for All." (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Stephanie Kercher (L), sister of Meredith Kercher, and her brother Lyle hold a press conference in a hotel in central Florence on January 31, 2014. A court in Florence on January 30 sentenced US student Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison for the murder of her British housemate in 2007 in the latest dramatic twist in the high-profile case. The court, after 12 hours of deliberations, also found Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty for killing Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia and sentenced him to 25 years. Knox and Sollecito were first convicted of the murder in 2009, then acquitted in 2011 on appeal. An extradition procedure for Knox can only be launched following a definitive ruling from the supreme court, which could take months or years. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman believed to be Amanda Knox, center left, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from her mother's home to a car by family members Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle. Amanda Knox says she is frightened and saddened by her "unjust" murder conviction in the death of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox's lawyers have vowed to appeal to Italy's highest court. In a statement issued from Seattle on Thursday after her conviction was upheld, Knox blamed overzealous prosecutors and a "prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation" for what she called a perversion of justice and wrongful conviction. (AP Photo)
ADDS STATEMENT FROM KNOX SPOKESMAN DAVID MARRIOTT-An unidentified woman, center, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from the home of Amanda Knox's mother, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle.  Knox?s family spokesman, David Marriott, said Thursday that Knox was at the house when an Italian court upholding her murder conviction was read Thursday, but said he didn?t know whether the person who emerged was Knox. On Friday, Marriott stated he had made inquiries and that the person under the jacket wasn?t Knox. (AP Photo)
ADDS STATEMENT FROM KNOX SPOKESMAN DAVID MARRIOTT-An unidentified woman, center, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from the home of Amanda Knox's mother, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle.  Knox?s family spokesman, David Marriott, said Thursday that Knox was at the house when an Italian court upholding her murder conviction was read Thursday, but said he didn?t know whether the person who emerged was Knox. On Friday, Marriott stated he had made inquiries and that the person under the jacket wasn?t Knox. (AP Photo)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
This image released by NBC shows Amanda Knox during an interview on the "Today" show, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in New York. Knox defended her decision not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 killing of her British roommate, even as she acknowledged that "everything is at stake," insisting she is innocent. In March, Italy's supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend. An appeals court in 2011 had acquitted both, overturning convictions by a lower court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
Meredith Kercher's brother Lyle, left, and sister Stephanie wait for the reading of the verdict for the murder of the British student in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, center, reads out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. Writing above reads in Italian "The Law is Equal for All." (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Francesco Maresca, lawyer of Kercher family, right, caresses his assistant, left, as Meredith Kercher's brother Lyle, center right, and sister Stephanie talk after the reading of the verdict for the murder of the British student, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni )
Meredith Kercher's brother Lyle, left, and sister Stephanie share a word after the Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, read out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni )
This image released by NBC shows Amanda Knox during an interview on the "Today" show, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in New York. Knox defended her decision not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 killing of her British roommate, even as she acknowledged that "everything is at stake," insisting she is innocent. In March, Italy's supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend. An appeals court in 2011 had acquitted both, overturning convictions by a lower court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
This image released by NBC shows Amanda Knox, right, during an interview with Matt Lauer on the "Today" show, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in New York. Knox defended her decision not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 killing of her British roommate, even as she acknowledged that "everything is at stake," insisting she is innocent. In March, Italy's supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend. An appeals court in 2011 had acquitted both, overturning convictions by a lower court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
This April 9, 2013 photo released by ABC shows Amanda Knox, left, speaking during a taped interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in New York. In March, Italy's highest criminal court overturned Knox's acquittal in the 2007 murder of a British student and ordered a new trial. The interview aired Tuesday, April 30, coinciding with the release of her memoir, "Waiting to Be Heard." (AP Photo/ABC, Ida Mae Astute)
Amanda Knox, right, is cheered by family friend Dave Marriott as she arrives for a news conference shortly after her arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Seattle. It's been four years since the University of Washington student left for the study abroad program in Perugia and landed in prison. The group Friends of Amanda Knox and others have been awaiting her return since an Italian appeals court on Monday overturned her conviction of sexually assaulting and killing her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Amanda Knox gestures at a news conference in Seattle Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, after returning home from Italy. Knox was freed Monday after an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction for the death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Amanda Knox breaks in tears as she is taken away after hearing the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court, central Italy, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Italian appeals court threw out Amanda Knox's murder conviction Monday and ordered the young American freed after nearly four years in prison for the death of her British roommate. Knox collapsed in tears after the verdict overturning her 2009 conviction was read out. Her co-defendant, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, also was cleared of killing 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in 2007. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
A woman believed to be Amanda Knox, center left, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from her mother's home to a car by family members Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle. Amanda Knox says she is frightened and saddened by her "unjust" murder conviction in the death of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox's lawyers have vowed to appeal to Italy's highest court. In a statement issued from Seattle on Thursday after her conviction was upheld, Knox blamed overzealous prosecutors and a "prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation" for what she called a perversion of justice and wrongful conviction. (AP Photo)
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ROME (AP) -- The judge who presided over Amanda Knox's second murder conviction says he suffered over the verdict, but that he and the jury reached agreement that she was guilty in the death of British student Meredith Kercher.

Judge Alessandro Nencini also suggested in an interview with Corriere della Sera published Saturday that the decision of Knox's ex-boyfriend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, not to testify may have worked against him.

"It's the defendant's right, but it certainly deprived the process of a voice," Nencini was quoted as saying. "He limited himself to spontaneous declarations. He said only what he wanted to say without letting himself be cross-examined." Knox did not appear at the trial, but sent a letter to the court saying she feared wrongful conviction.

The newspaper said Nencini consented to the interview because he knew the sentence would create a media storm. The case has been top international news since Kercher was found in a pool of blood with her throat slit on Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment Knox and Kercher shared in the university town of Perugia.

As the case has moved through Italy's court system, prosecutors have offered differing explanations for Kercher's killing, asserting in the first trial that Kercher was killed when an erotic game went awry and in the latest trial saying the violence was rooted in a longstanding disagreement over cleanliness. Both Sollecito and Knox deny involvement.

Nencino did not give a specific reasoning behind the verdict, saying the court settled on a motive that would be made clear in the written explanation, expected within three months.

Nenci, another judge and six lay jurors reinstated the guilty verdicts on Thursday against Knox and Sollecito that were first handed down in 2009, sentencing Knox to 28 1/2 years and Sollecito to 25 for the murder. An appeals court had acquitted the pair in 2011 and ordered them freed from prison, but Italy's supreme court threw out the acquittals and ordered a third trial, in Florence.

Lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito have said they would appeal, saying there was no proof that the two had committed the crime. Knox has said she will never willingly return to Italy to serve any sentence if the verdict is upheld.

Nencini said the court worked long and hard to process what he called a "half-room" worth of documentation in these months. Asked if the final verdict was unanimous after 12 hours of deliberations, Nencini hedged, saying it was a "shared" decision.

"I can say that in all these months, and in particular in the last meeting, we sensed the gravity of a sentence against young people and entire families," he was quoted as saying. "This is something that has affected many lives."

"I feel liberated because the moment of the decision is the most difficult," he was quoted as saying. "I also have children, and inflicting a sentence of 25 and 28 years on two young people is emotionally very tough."

A third person, Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year sentence.

Nencini hinted at what the court had found to be the most plausible explanation for what happened, saying that up until 8:15 p.m. on the night of the murder, Knox and Sollecito had other plans: In Knox's case, she was supposed to have gone to work at a bar, and Sollecito was supposed to have gone to a train station to pick up a friend's luggage.

"At the moment I can say that up until 8:15 of that evening, the kids had other plans, but they skipped them and an opportunity was created," Nencini was quoted as saying. "If Amanda had gone to work, probably we wouldn't be here."

While the changed plans that night have been well established by evidence presented to the courts, Nencini didn't explain how those details factored into a motive for the murder.

He justified not imposing any restrictive measures on Knox, who remains free in the United States. If necessary, the court would re-evaluate the measures imposed on Sollecito to prevent him from leaving the country, he said.

Sollecito had attended the morning session of Thursday's court hearing but then drove to Italy's northern frontier with Austria and Slovenia. While the judges and jury deliberated, he and his girlfriend visited Austria, but came back to Italy to spend the night.

In an interview with U.S. broadcaster NBC News on Friday, Sollecito said he wasn't trying to flee Italy by going to Austria. He said he had been planning to take a trip outside Italy if acquitted, but turned back as soon as he learned he had been convicted.

"I didn't want to flee, or to get away because I actually went back," he said.

He said he checked into the first hotel once back in Italy because he was tired. Police found him there Friday morning, and confiscated his passport and ID papers, as mandated by the court, but then set him free.

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