Witness contradicts Knox in Italy murder trial
A grocer testified Saturday that University of Washington student Amanda Knox, accused of killing her British roommate in Italy, was in his store early on the morning after the death, contradicting the timeline Knox offered.
PERUGIA, Italy — A grocer testified Saturday that University of Washington student Amanda Knox, accused of killing her British roommate in Italy, was in his store early on the morning after the death, contradicting the timeline Knox offered.
Knox has said she woke up midmorning the day after her roommate Meredith Kercher died from a stab wound to the neck.
Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are accused of killing the 21-year-old British student on the night of Nov. 1, 2007. Prosecutors say Kercher was killed between 9 and 11 p.m. during what started as a sex game. Kercher's body was found the next morning in the Perugia house she shared with Knox.
Other testimony Saturday focused on whether Sollecito's apartment smelled of bleach on Nov. 6, 2007, when police arrested the two defendants.
Both Knox and Sollecito deny wrongdoing in the case. Sollecito said he spent the night at his house and does not remember if Knox spent all or part of it with him. Knox, after conflicting statements, eventually said she was at Sollecito's house and awoke midmorning on Nov. 2, 2007.
Witness Marco Quintavalle said Saturday that a young woman he identified as Knox entered his grocery store near Sollecito's house in Perugia at 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 2. He said the woman was waiting for him to open the store, and that he and she exchanged glances.
"It really struck me, she had a very pale face and these light eyes," Quintavalle said. "I can still see the image in my head."
Asked by the presiding judge if that woman was in the courtroom, Quintavalle said he was sure it was Knox.
"Now I'm sure," he said, looking at her. Knox did not appear to react.
Quintavalle said he did not know if Knox bought anything because he was not at the cash register that morning. He said he had seen Knox one or two times before at his store with Sollecito, a frequent customer.
Defense lawyers questioned the reliability of the witness. Carlo Dalla Vedova asked him if he could say how tall Sollecito is and what color his eyes are. Quintavalle gave an indication on the height and said he was not sure about Sollecito's eye color.
Knox's stepfather, Chris Mellas, said the trial so far had failed to show "any evidence that she's done anything, which is the truth."
The court also heard Saturday from a woman who cleaned Sollecito's apartment.
Prosecutors say police detected the odor of bleach on Nov. 6, 2007 — the day both defendants were arrested. Investigators allege the defendants might have used it to eliminate possible traces on any item that might have been at the death scene.
The cleaner said she did not use bleach, and nothing seemed different or smelled of bleach in Sollecito's house when she last went there on Nov. 5, 2007 to clean.
A third defendant, Rudy Hermann Guede, of the Ivory Coast, was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison at a separate trial last year. He also denies wrongdoing.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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