The murder of 21-year-old British exchange student Meredith Kercher shocked the university town of Perugia, not to mention all of Italy, last year. As of yesterday, the first defendant accused of her killing was convicted.
Rudy Guede, a 21-year-old joint citizen of Italy and Ivory Coast, maintains his innocence despite acknowledging that he was in the apartment Kercher shared with co-defendant Amanda Knox on the night Kercher was murdered. Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison, though prosecutors had requested a life sentence. Knox, a 21-year-old exchange student from Seattle, and her 24-year-old ex-Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were indicted on “charges of murder and sexual violence,” and the pair was ordered to stand trial beginning December 4, 2008.
The attorneys for Knox and Sollecito have both requested that their clients be allowed to leave jail and remain under house arrest prior to and during their upcoming trial, but the judge didn’t make a decision on that question. Both Knox and Sollecito are also facing potential life sentences in prison.