The defense has attempted to gain an independent review request stating that collection of DNA samples from the crime scene were not gathered within the strictures of forensic sample collection techniques.
21-year-old Meredith Kercher was found murdered partially dressed in a flat she shared with other students whilst on an Erasmus program in the Italian town of Perugia. The body displayed a wound to the neck and a crushed windpipe. The investigation was led by top Italian forensic expert Dr Stefanoni.
The prime suspects in the case are her flat mate Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Rudy Hermann Guede was the first suspect to be convicted of Meredith’s assault and murder and given a 30 year sentence. DNA forensic tests of body fluids found in Meredith indicate he had had sex with her before the murder, and moreover, the DNA found in the feces in Meredith’s flat was also his.
A knife was found in the suspect’s flat; DNA tests showed that the blood on the knife belonged to Meredith and that the DNA found on the knife-handle belonged to Knox. However, the knife was not the murder weapon since the wound sizes on the body did not coincide with the size of the blade of the knife in question. The murder weapon was never found.
The defense criticized the way in which the forensic DNA gathering was undertaken. They highlighted inconsistencies in sampling which did not match standard collecting procedures for DNA forensic tests in murder. They pointed out that the investigation was not thorough, noting how a bra clasp stained in the victim’s blood and Sollecito’s had only been found on a second investigation of the crime several weeks later. Moreover, footage showed that DNA sampling was done by forensic experts using single-use gloves twice, thus contaminating evidence and making it inconclusive.
The prosecution brought forward suggestions of a perverse sex game between the suspects. Meredith was subject to prolonged sexual abuse. The prosecution noted that the way Meredith’s murder was carried out was analogous to the stories as told in some manga comics found in Sollecito’s flat. These suggestions were mocked by the defense.
Both Knox and Sollecito deny involvement in the murder of Meredith. Knox expostulated that her friendship with Meredith meant that she would never have hurt her intentionally. However, the Judge claimed to need no further evidence. As Judge Massei read out his decision, his stance became implicit to Knox – the two are to be sentenced to prison. However, the final verdict is unlikely to be heard before the New Year.