Amanda Knox Retrial: ‘Drugs and Alcohol Frenzy Led to Meredith Kercher Murder’

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By Umberto Bacchi | December 17, 2013 5:18 AM EST

Amanda Knox murdered Meredith Kercher in a drug and alcohol frenzy, said Kercher’s family lawyer Francesco Maresca (Reuters)

Drugs and alcohol fuelled a murderous rage that resulted in the death of British student Meredith Kercher at the hands of her flatmate Amanda Knox and her ex-Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian court has heard.

Francesco Maresca, a lawyer for the Kercher family, asked Florence Appellate Court to find Knox and Sollecito guilty of murder in a retrial over Kercher's death.

"We have no doubt that the accused are guilty," Maresca told the court. "Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede had fallen a pray to excitement that sparked the murderous rage, also because drugs and alcohol had deprived their minds of inhibitory impulses."

Kercher, 21, from Croydon, south London, was found in November 2007 with her throat slashed inside her room in the apartment she shared with Knox in the university town of Perugia.

Prosecutors alleged that she was killed by Knox, Sollecito and Guede, a drifter from the Ivory Coast, who was sentenced to 16 years at the end of a separate trial and is serving his sentence in Viterbo jail, near Rome.

In his closing arguments Maresca slammed Knox, who has refused to attend the retrial and remains in the US, for soliciting donations in Kercher's memory.

Maresca told judges that the American student had exploited worldwide notoriety from the case for personal gain, while her victim "has fallen into total oblivion".

"She [Knox] has become a well-known person. You know she signed contracts for millions of dollars for her book. She has someone who takes care of her public relations," Maresca said.

"She has a personal website where she invites people to collect donations in the memory of the victim, Meredith Kercher, which is an unbearable contradiction for the family."

In court Maresca described the apparent lack of a motive for the murder as "irrelevant" once it has been proved the three accused were in the room where Kercher was killed.

Previous trials

"Existing problems between Amanda and Meredith evolved into a sort of punishment of the victim, in an escalation [of violence]," Maresca said

In previous trials it emerged that Knox and Kercher had quarrelled over cleanliness in the house they shared with two Italian roommates.

In November prosecutor Alessandro Crini changed tack from the previous assertion that Kercher was killed because she had refused to take part in a brutal sex game and told the court the killing was sparked instead by a row over a dirty toilet.

Crini demanded a 30-year jail sentence for Knox and a 26-year jail sentence for Sollecito.

Knox and Sollecito were arrested days after Meredith's body was found and were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively in 2009.  

That verdict was overturned on appeal in October 2011 and the pair, who have always claimed their innocence, were released. But earlier this year, Italy's Court of Cassation quashed the ruling and ordered a retrial.

Knox and Sollecito claim they were at his home smoking marijuana and watching a movie on the night of the murder.

The trial continues. 

READ:

Meredith Kercher Murder Retrial: No Room for Murder in My Love Fairytale with Amanda Knox, Says Raffaele Sollecito

Amanda Knox's Boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito 'Visited Meredith Kercher's Grave in London'

Meredith Kercher Murder Retrial: I'm Not Hiding from Justice Says Raffaele Sollecito [VIDEO]

Amanda Knox Co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito in Cash Appeal to Pay Lawyers

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