Italy’s highest court overturned Amanda Knox’s murder conviction and put an end to her eight-year legal battle on Friday.
Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted, acquitted, then convicted again during three separate trials in the murder case of Knox’s college roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.
The 27-year-old from Seattle was convicted in 2009 for killing Kercher, who shared an apartment with Knox in the Italian university town of Perugia while they were both studying overseas. Kercher, from London, England, was stabbed, her throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.
“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy,” said Knox in a statement from her home after the judges’ decision was announced following over 10 hours of deliberation. “The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal.”
She also thanked everyone who had supported her, “Your kindness has sustained me.”
During the back-and-forth case, both Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 on appeal, and Knox returned to the U.S.
Two years later, however, they were retried and their acquittals overturned. Knox was sentenced in absentia to 28 years in prison, while Sollecito received 25 years.
The latest ruling means that Knox will not be sent back again to Italy. Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova, who was her representative in court, said that Friday’s decision was the “best thing that could happen,” reported ABC News.
Before the verdict, the attorney called the reconviction “a big mistake that has to be rectified.”
“I did not expect this to happen,” Knox told ABC News in January 2014. “I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent once before.
“I will never go willingly back,” she added.
Since retiring to America, Knox has rebuilt her life in Seattle where she works as a freelance journalist writing theater reviews for a local paper and working at a bookstore. She is engaged to Colin Sutherland, a friend whom she met in middle school.