Amanda Knox Case: British Coroner Rules Meredith Kercher Was 'Unlawfully Killed'

Tuesday, 25 Mar 2014 11:42 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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A British coroner declared this week that Meredith Kercher, the exchange student Amanda Knox is accused of murdering, was "unlawfully killed," even though as much was obvious when she died nearly seven years ago.

Kercher, a 21-year-old London native who was studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, was found stabbed to death in her flat with her throat slit in November 2007. Though her death occurred in Italy, a British inquest was ordered because of the nature of the crime, according to the Daily Mail.

Dr. Roy Palmer of Croydon's Coroner's Court in south London made the announcement and formally closed the inquiry during a short hearing this week.

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"She died, the autopsy tells us, as a result of hemorrhagic shock from stab and incised wounds to the vasculature of the neck. I do conclude that she was unlawfully killed," Palmer told the court, according to the Mail.

He said it was "appropriate that I do bring some closure to [the Kerchers] by completing the inquest."

Kercher's family was not present for the five-minute hearing, but coroner's office manager Barry May said he spoke with Kercher's bother, Lyle, who said the family was "content" with the proceedings taking place without them.

Amanda Knox, Kercher's roommate in Perugia, and Knox's then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of the British student's murder in 2009 and initially sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively.

Rudy Guede, a drug dealer from the Ivory Coast, was also convicted of Kercher's murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2008.

An appeals court then overturned Knox and Sollecito's convictions in 2011 and Knox returned home to Seattle, Wash. But the pair was re-convicted in January, though Knox was not present for the trial. It remains to be seen whether she will be extradited to Italy.

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