Relatives, friends say Knox was 'railroaded from day one'
From a home in West Seattle where they awaited word of the verdict, relatives and friends of Amanda Knox were prepared for the worst. But the news still came like a body blow.
Seattle Times staff reporters
Amanda Knox's grandmother and a handful of Knox's closest friends crowded into Mick and Janet Huff's tiny living room in West Seattle, where the TV was tuned to CNN.
Knox's grandmother perched on a corner of the couch, and a foursome of college friends — who'd lived in the same dorm with Knox as freshmen at the University of Washington — took up positions in front of the TV.
Also invited were at least a dozen members of the media, who — outnumbering the family and friends — were there to catch the reactions of Knox's loved ones when they heard the jury's verdict.
As the clock atop the piano inched closer to 3 p.m. Friday, the Huffs — Knox's maternal uncle and aunt — and grandmother Elisabeth Huff grew increasingly tense, fidgeting and hugging Knox's friends.
Then, at 3:10 p.m., the room suddenly quieted as a CNN correspondent delivered the news they'd all been dreading: Guilty on all counts.
"Oh God, no," Mick Huff said.
The family was prepared for the worst. Italian acquaintances, they said, had warned them that no one is ever acquitted at trial. But the news still came like a body blow.
Elisabeth Huff's head drooped as she fought unsuccessfully to hold back tears. Janet Huff gasped and clamped a hand to her mouth.
Then the phone rang — and kept ringing — as friends and supporters called to talk with the family.
"I'm just stunned. It's like being clobbered over the head," said Elisabeth Huff. "... She's been railroaded from day one."
Said Janet Huff: "I'm sure she's in tears, crushed. But she'll be more concerned about how the rest of us are taking it."
Knox's friends quickly moved into the kitchen to console each other, away from the crush of journalists.
"It's definitely shocking, but our support of her is unwavering," 22-year-old Alexandra McDougall, a UW senior, said as she leaned against the kitchen sink. "She's not the first innocent person behind bars, and she won't be the last, unfortunately. We're not going to stop fighting till we get to bring her home."
Knox's family and friends are pinning hopes on an appeal to overturn both her criminal and related civil convictions, a process that could take two years.
In Perugia, not a visiting day has gone by without someone seeing Knox at the jail. Every family member has made at least one trip, her aunt and uncle said.
Now, relatives are discussing plans for at least some family members to move to Italy while the appeal process plays out. A cousin from Germany donated a clunker of a car, and relatives are already looking for jobs and an apartment, Janet Huff said.
"It's an absolute necessity that someone is there at all times," she said. "... The only alternative is to leave her there alone, and that's not an option."
Other friends, too, grappled with what to expect next.
Brett Lither, who met Knox in grade school, visited her in jail. If Lither found the money, "I'd go there for as long as it took," she said. "This girl has no business being in prison."
In the University District, Richard Kirsten, who owns an art gallery where Knox once worked, had convinced himself she'd be set free.
He heard the news on the radio and "totally broke down," he said by phone. "I had to leave the building. There were customers."
Hours later, Kirsten felt helpless. He recalled the day weeks earlier when Knox's mother had come by.
"She was hurting, and we all just said it's going to be OK," Kirsten said. "And now it's not, and I don't know what to do."
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or email@example.com
Craig Welch: 206-464-2093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
(The Associated Press) Fuel rules get support A Consumer Federation of America survey conducted in April found that a large majority of Americans R...
Post a comment