British student’s killer blames US woman, ex-boyfriend
Knox ‘shocked’ at allegation in Italian trial
PERUGIA, Italy — A man convicted of murdering a British exchange student testified yesterday that he believes her roommate, Amanda Knox, and her ex-boyfriend killed her — an accusation that prompted an emotional denial from Knox.
“He knows we weren’t there,’’ American student Knox said moments after her accuser, Rudy Hermann Guede, left the courthouse. “I’m shocked and anguished by these statements.’’
The testimony by Guede, a 24-year-old immigrant from the Ivory Coast, was closely watched in the packed courtroom in Perugia. He had been called as a witness for the prosecution in the appeals trial of Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her Italian ex-boyfriend and codefendant.
Knox and Sollecito were convicted in the Nov. 1, 2007, slaying of Meredith Kercher, whose body was found in a pool of blood in the apartment she and Knox shared in Perugia.
Prosecutors claimed in Knox’s first trial that Guede, Knox, and Sollecito killed Kercher in what had begun as a sexual game.
Taking the stand, Guede confirmed the contents of a letter he wrote to his lawyers last year, in which he accused Knox and Sollecito of killing Kercher.
In the March 2010 letter, which was read out loud in court, Guede wrote that he had nothing to do with the “horrible murder of the splendid and wonderful Meredith Kercher by Knox and Sollecito.’’
Guede is serving a 16-year-prison sentence for the murder. He sought a fast-track procedure and has already exhausted all levels of appeal.
Knox and Sollecito were convicted of sexual assault and murder in separate proceeding. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison, he to 25.
“Raffaele Sollecito, Guede, and I have only been in the same place in a court,’’ Knox said as she denied Guede’s accusation. “I don’t know what happened that night,’’ she added.
Guede was called by the prosecution to counter testimony by a fellow inmate and convicted child killer who claimed Guede told him during recreation time in prison that Knox and Sollecito had nothing to do with the killing.
On the stand, Guede denied talking to Mario Alessi about the case.
The letter that was read in court had been written by Guede to deny Alessi’s claims.
Witness Giacomo Benedetti, a close friend of Guede’s who has often visited him in prison, told the court yesterday that the Ivorian had never mentioned speaking to Alessi about the case.
Like Knox and Sollecito, Guede has denied killing Kercher.
Unlike them, he has admitted being at the crime scene the night of the murder.
Speaking at the opening of his own appeals trial, Guede claimed he had heard Kercher and Knox argue minutes before the Briton was slain.