Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sentencing Report: Barbie Nadeau Quotes The Motive, Physical Evidence, And Alibis

Posted by Peter Quennell

Please click above for Barbie Nadeau’s full report on the Daily Beast website. Key excerpts.

1) The motive

“One can hypothesize that the bad decision came after the consumption of stupefying substances.”

But they disagreed on the motive. The prosecution lawyers began their case in January, 2009 by arguing that Kercher was killed during a sex game gone awry. By closing arguments, they had changed the theory slightly, trying to make the case that Knox resented her prissy British roommate and killed her in hatred. The jury rejected both theories, and the reasoning document declares that “the killing was carried out with no planning, no animosity and no revenge against the victim.

“The two young lovers, interested in each other and in the intellectual and cultural world around them, would not have made a conscious decision to kill Kercher. Instead, the judge wrote, they killed spontaneously under the influence of drugs. “One can hypothesize that the bad decision came after the consumption of stupefacente””stupefying substances””that Amanda verified in her testimony.”

As the jury saw it, Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast native who was convicted for his role in Kercher’s murder after a fast-track trial in 2008, came to the house the two girls shared in order to get high. Guede used the toilet, then became aroused when he saw Knox and Sollecito making out. He went to Kercher’s room and made sexual advances toward her. The reasoning refers to evidence presented at Knox’s trial that Guede was the type of guy that “bothered women” when he was under the influence.

Then, according to the reasoning, Kercher cried out for help, but instead of helping her, Knox and Sollecito, their judgment impaired, decided instead to help Guede. The killing was based on “sexual-erotic violence” but not with Knox as the mastermind. The jury felt that it was Guede who led that attack, and the other two, too high to know better, joined in.

2) The physical and forensic evidence

The judge’s reasoning also underscores what the jury believed to be the most important elements of the prosecution’s forensic case. They believed that a kitchen knife with Knox’s DNA on the handle and a trace of Kercher’s on the blade was the weapon that made the large fatal wound in Kercher’s neck. They also referred to Sollecito’s “knife habits,” surmising that, as an admitted collector of blades, he likely used his own knife to make the second wound. The jury agreed that Sollecito and Knox conspired to stage a break-in in another bedroom to cover their tracks.

And they attributed an unidentifiable bloody shoeprint found on the pillow under Kercher’s body to Knox, even though the prosecution only implied that it was compatible with a woman’s shoe size. A spot of Knox and Kercher’s mixed blood in one of the bedrooms, found using Luminol, and four additional spots in the small bathroom the girls shared also swayed the jurors.

“These were left when Amanda was cleaning her hands and feet of Kercher’s blood,” the judge wrote.

3) The Knox and Sollecito alibis

The judge also wrote emphatically about the lack of credible alibi. Although Knox and Sollecito claimed to be at his apartment all night, “Not one phone call, not one meeting, no computer activity or any other element proved that they stayed at that apartment.” And the judge was particularly hard on Knox for accusing Patrick Lumumba, an innocent man, of the murder “knowingly and deceivingly.”

Overall, however, it appears that the jury was sympathetic to the two suspects, but ultimately felt that they committed a crime for which they must pay a hefty price.


It is out of question that there was an intention to harm Meredith Kercher BEFORE they arrived to the cottage. They brought two knives - one of them a big kitchen knife with them.

The opinion they “just happened to join” is not believable at all. Really, come on! What we are supposed to believe next, that they just happen to have the right kitchen knife in their bag when it happened? Oh, please.

Posted by Nell on 03/05/10 at 06:08 AM | #

It is possible that if they had planned on smoking up over at Amanda’s. that they would also get the munchies, could not Amanda or RS have filled a bag with food (including mushrooms) and brought a knife to prepare that food.

I know there are knives at Amanda’s, but cooks like to prepare their own food with their own utensiles.

Regardless, I just threw that out there, its not what I think really happened.

Posted by John on 03/05/10 at 07:17 AM | #

Nadeau states: ‘First, the reasoning barely skimmed over Knox’s involvement in Kercher’s sexual assault, so astute lawyers are likely to focus on that oversight and challenge her conviction for a sex crime’.

However, the report according to the article in La Reppublica states that AK’s involvement had been ‘active and violent’.

Posted by Ann-Marie on 03/05/10 at 08:33 AM | #

Well, by stating it wasn’t premeditated, but rather the result of a fortuitous chain of uncontrolled events, the judges opened the door for a ‘reformed’ sentence in Appeal, which could envision the application of art. 584 of the Penal Code (“omicidio reterintenzionale”, a sort of voluntary manslaughter).

The punishment for that crime is from a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 18 years, however according to art. 585, an increase of punishment of 1/3 to 1/2 is applicable because of the concurring aggravating circumstances provided by art. 576, referring to art. 609-octies (group sexual violence).

I don’t know if that could be the case, but it is not unusual that the appeal courts in Italy ‘reform’ (modify) the lower court sentence by applying a ‘derubricazione’ (recategorization) of the crime to a lower level crime. In such case the sentence could be significantly decreased in appeal.

Posted by Commissario Montalbano on 03/05/10 at 08:40 AM | #

“They believed that a kitchen knife with Knox’s DNA on the handle and a trace of Kercher’s on the blade was the weapon that made the large fatal wound in Kercher’s neck.”

But if there was no premeditation of any kind, how/why did the kitchen knife get from RS’s to AK’s?

And why didn’t Rudy flush?

Posted by tom-ch on 03/05/10 at 09:25 AM | #

I am really finding it hard to get my head around the fact that the judges are saying that it wasn’t premeditated. To my mind, to carry or bring a kitchen knife to the place of where the murder took place means an intent to cause someone harm.

The judges also said that they believe that AK was not the instigator,but a ‘follower’ which I think is even worse. Meredith was calling out for help, but no, AK stood by Rudy and Raff and took part in Meredith’s murder,when she was supposed to help her and protect her. So much for AK being a so-called ‘friend’ to Meredith, err nope, I don’t think so. We have all heard how Edda harps on about how AK was Meredith’s friend. In my book, if my friend was being attacked, I woudnt think twice to help her. A girl should not just allow a guy to sexually assault another girl, let alone take part in it.

The judge also said they “killed spontaneously under the influence of drugs”. It depends on what type of drugs, (strong class A maybe?) if the judge is saying they were under the influence of cannabis or something similar, then I’m not quite sure. I once lived in a community where most of the neighbours smoked that ‘soft’ stuff, but they didn’t go around killing each other.

From what I have read so far, this case has got a ‘Myra Hindley and ‘Rose West’ flavour to it. Those two also stood by and watched/took part in the crimes for which they were both convicted of. One was a young girl who would do anything to impress her lover, (Ian Brady),  the other was a mother who should of protected her children from her monster of a husband (Fred West)

These two cases are a prime example, as far as I know, where there were no drugs involved. I am not saying that the three were not under the influence, we all know the opposite from the report, but rather that drugs should not be used as an excuse and a reason why dangerous situations escalate to murder.

If only Amanda had done the right thing.If she claims she was Meredith’s true friend she should of helped her,and then AK would not be sitting where she is now and the situation would of been entirely different. AK would most probably of been looked upon as Meredith’s saviour as she would of survived,before it got out of hand, and still be alive today.

The judges being ‘sympathetic’ towards AK is not good. Meredith died in the most horrible way, we can’t forget that. I really hope her appeal goes against her, and hope she serves her full sentence.That’s the least she can do.

Posted by perfumedflower on 03/05/10 at 02:00 PM | #

Barbie wrote: “Although Knox and Sollecito claimed to be at his apartment all night…”

That is not what was claimed by the prosecutor and by the facts discussed in Court. Raffaele’s third and final version states that he doesn’t remember if Amanda was with him at his house. Defense claims that hashish caused this amnesia. So Raffaele does not support Amanda’s alibi.

Amanda’s last version is that she was at his house, although in her second version (which lasted for several months) she always stated that she didn’t quite well remember if she was at Raffaele’s house on the night of the murder.

Posted by Cesare Beccaria on 03/05/10 at 05:00 PM | #

This was such a senseless crime, probably not premeditated, but it did happen.  Regardless of whether it was or was not planned, the evidence clearly showed that all 3 of the defendants were involved. 

I think people have a hard time believing that 2 young college students could do such a horrific murder as this. Again, the evidence is not represented very well on American TV, so I would guess about 95% of Americans have heard little of the actual evidence, and a good majority of those think Amanda was wrongly convicted. 

Since the judges and prosecutor’s theories on motive have changed, AK’s family are hoping this will win an appeal.  Hopefully, more of the evidence will become mainstream knowledge and put an end to the Donald Trump type attitudes of boycotting Italy.  Hey, Donald, isn’t Raffaele Italian?

Hi Justice, Amanda stated she spent the night at RS and didn’t wake up until 10 in the morning.  Funny how she was seen at the market in the morning before 8 am waiting for it to open and then bleach receipts were found at RS’s apartment.

Very hard to be in 2 places at once.  Oh yeah, why were AK & RS standing outside AK’s and Merediths apartment with a bucket and mop when the communication police arrived?

I really wish American TV would report the facts.  There is so much, they could run a 2 hour special for 5 nights and still not all the evidence would make it in.  Maybe they are too afraid of Donald Trump calling for a boycott of their station!

Posted by BARBM on 03/05/10 at 07:16 PM | #

Hi Barbm, Maybe my memory is a bit rusty after not keeping up for about a week and one half but, I don’t believe any bleach receipts were ever found. She was seen by the store’s proprietor in the cleaning products aisle and I don’t believe he testified to AK purchasing bleach. Just one statement from a policeman about a “strong smell of bleach” in Raffi’s apartment. I, too, do not believe this was premeditated. I know many cannot wrap their minds around the idea that we have lots of people who carry their knives from place to place but, I have a relative that does this so, it’s not a stretch for me. I am not sure I concur with the judges conclusions but, I feel they are trying to arrive at a plausible scenario while still attempting to show much sympathy to the three young defendants.

Posted by tigger34 on 03/05/10 at 09:36 PM | #

Amanda was supposed to work that night. So it probably was not premeditated and carefully planned. Maybe, however, she and Raffaele decided to go home and to play some prank, that is very possible. I feel she had a grudge against Meredith who hada become cold with her. “She believes she is better than I am” or something of the kind…

So she would have enjoyed the possibility of humiliating or annoying her.

But I believe also that things got out of hands. And Amanda chose her side, the men’s. She obviously did not like Meredith enough to stop the guys.

Posted by Patou on 03/05/10 at 10:49 PM | #

Amanda was supposed to work that night. So it probably was not premeditated and carefully planned. Maybe, however, she and Raffaele decided to go home and to play some prank, that is very possible.

This is in my opinion the most probable scenario, they planned a prank, not a murder. How much you have to think about it to make it legally “premeditated”? - I don’t know. What speaks volumes is that they brought knives to the cottage, they came prepared. I do not believe that Rudy had any reasons to scare Meredith or teach her a lesson, nonetheless there is no doubt he participated by his own choice. He doesn’t seem to be the mastermind as he wasn’t involved in any cleanup after the crime. If Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox thought the best way to go was to clean their traces it was because they had a lot to hide, obviously. They teamed up against Rudy Guede trying to convince the public of the “lone wolf theory”, what made them look even more guilty and desperate.

Posted by Nell on 03/07/10 at 12:24 AM | #

NOV 1st

8:35 PM   Amanda’s text message to Patrick

8:40 PM   RS discovers he no longer has to go to the station, they turn their cell phones off. (They are now free for the evening and tomorrow’s Saturday)

RS’s bank account is $0.00 – they are limited as to what they can do.

Both have stated that they had a late supper so they plan on making something at Amanda’s, she has pasta there and RS has ingredients to make a sauce (mushrooms for one)

On route to Amanda’s, they meet Rudy, he has drugs, and they invite him over for supper in hopes of him sharing his drugs.

9 – 9:30 PM   Meredith arrives home, mingles with the 3, is offered to eat with them but declines, she has eaten, perhaps she’ll just have a mushroom. Retires to her room.

9:30 PM   Meredith attempts phone call home, but hangs up because Rudy has come into her room. At first they just talk but when Rudy starts making sexual advances, Meredith explodes and kicks him out, Rudy goes to main bathroom while Meredith gets into a very heated argument with Amanda about him.

This heated argument turns confrontational and Amanda is no match for Meredith. RS, though he tries, can’t control either of them. Amanda uses a kitchen knife she has been using and slashes out at Meredith, cutting her across her throat.

Meredith, in shock and pain, grabs her throat and runs to the washroom. Rudy comes out of the bathroom to see what has happened. In the washroom, after tuning on the light, Meredith fall to the floor and bleeds on the mat, getting a towel, she wraps it around her neck to stem the bleeding, stands up and turns the tap on and looks in the mirror. In anger she screams she’s calling the police and runs to her room, Amanda and Rudy run after her, Rudy grabs her from behind in a choke hold while Amanda grabs her phones and goes into the living room.

In Meredith’s room, Rudy finds out just how strong Meredith really is and it is all he can do to subdue her. In the other room, RS tries to calm Amanda down and gets her out of the flat; they hear Meredith screaming and can imagine what is going on. With the phones they run down the road and discard them.

RS decides they have to go back and see if Meredith is OK, but before he goes back in there, they stop at his place to get a knife in case there is a confrontation with Rudy, they briefly stop at the park where the hobo sees them before returning.

10 – 10:30 PM   RS and Amanda return, Amanda stays outside while RS goes in, armed with his large kitchen knife he has brought, he sees Rudy and knows something really bad has happened, he says something to Rudy and runs out of the flat to Amanda where the two of them go back to the park. They are now waiting for Rudy to leave and now the breakdown truck to vacate.

11 – 11:30 PM   Breakdown truck now gone, RS and Amanda enter the house and discover what Rudy has done. Amanda, at seeing Meredith’s body, screams. The two leave right away, going back to the park to decide what to do.


12:00 Am -  After a heated argument, they decide not to call the police, but to go back and clean up any traces that they were they that evening. Basically, the supper they were making and the knife Amanda used on Meredith, stage a break in and plan what they would do in the morning to alert the police and what their alibi would be.

During the cover-up, Amanda refuses to go into Meredith’s bedroom, so with both wearing gloves they had brought from RS’s place, Amanda cleans up the kitchen and living rooms, RS goes into the bedroom and stages the murder/rape scene, He moves Meredith body, removes her pants and under garments which had only been pulled down but when he tries to remove her bra, he can’t undo the clasps with his gloves on, he removes one glove, grabs the clasp and cuts it off with his kitchen knife, accidently nicking the point of the blade in Meredith’s back.

He cuts the straps and pulls it off, but the clasp falls off under Meredith as he sets her body back down, unknowingly to himself and tosses the bra. After done staging the room, he looks it over and notices the clasp is missing, because he used his hand without a glove on, he figures he better find it, but he can’t. Realizing this could be important, he convinces Amanda to help in the search for it.

She won’t go into the room unless he covers Meredith’s body. They have been doing this cleanup without using any lights for fear someone will see them. Its dark in the room even with the little table light on, so Amanda gets the one out of her room and they search all over the floor but finally have to give up.

Next, they stage the break in part, together they mess up the room and decide to throw the rock through the window when they leave, they lock Meredith’s door and prepare to leave, RS makes one last trip into the break in room and unknowingly to Amanda, he sets the computer on the floor too and closes her door, outside he looks for a suitable rock and tosses it through the window and they run away deliberately leaving the outside door open.

The mop found outside with them, never made it to RS’s, it was used only in the kitchen, living room and hallway, all of which had no blood in them but needed to be explained nonetheless.

The bare footprints found in the house were Amanda’s, she really did take a shower as part of their cover up.

The kitchen knife was washed and put back in drawer by Amanda

The long shower Amanda talked about was their after cleanup shower, when they disposed of their cloths and gloves used during the clean up, including the red coat.

The postal police’s unexpected arrival in the morning foiled their plans on how and when to make their phone calls.

Posted by John on 03/10/10 at 05:49 AM | #
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