Amanda Knox returns home to Seattle
Updated: 2011-10-05 11:10
Amanda Knox (R) is overcome with emotion while holding hands with her mother Edda Mellas before speaking at a news conference at Sea-Tac International Airport, Washington after landing there on a flight from Italy, Oct 4, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
SEATTLE/PERUGIA - Amanda Knox returned home to Seattle on Tuesday, one day after an Italian court cleared the 24-year-old college student of murder and freed her from prison.
A plane carrying Knox, who grew up in the close-knit West Seattle neighborhood where both of her divorced parents still live, landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 5 pm local time.
Knox wiped away tears as she spoke to a throng of reporters at the airport minutes after she stepped off the plane.
"They are reminding me to speak in English because I'm having trouble with that," Knox, 24, said in brief remarks. "I'm really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real."
Anne Bremner, a Seattle defense attorney and spokeswoman for Friends of Amanda Knox, said that, according to her family, Knox was looking forward to having a backyard barbecue, being outside in the grass, playing soccer and seeing old friends.
"Just normal things that you would want to do after being in prison for four years for a crime you didn't do," she said.
Knox sobbed on hearing that the court had overturned her 2009 conviction for murdering her housemate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, in what prosecutors have said was a drug-fueled sexual assault.
Also cleared was her former boyfriend, Rafaele Sollecito, leaving Ivorian drifter Rudy Guede as the only person convicted in a killing which investigators believe was carried out by more than one person.
Kercher's half-naked body was found, with more than 40 wounds and a deep gash in her throat, in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, where both were studying.
The trial gripped attention on both sides of the Atlantic. There was an outpouring of sympathy and outrage from many in the United States who regarded Knox as an innocent girl caught in the clutches of a medieval justice system.