ROME (AP) — Italy's highest court overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Friday, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated people on both sides of the Atlantic.
"Finished!" Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read out. "It couldn't be better than this."
The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Knox and Italian co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her hometown of Seattle, and Sollecito have long maintained their innocence in the death of British student Meredith Kercher.
The supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year's convictions by a Florence appeals court, and declined to order another trial. The decision means the judges, after thoroughly examining the case, concluded that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence.
Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.
The case has aroused strong interest in three countries for its explosive mix of young love, murder and flip-flop decisions by Italian courts.
Kercher, 21, was found dead Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment that she shared with Knox and two other students. Her throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.
Knox and Sollecito were arrested a few days later. Eventually another man, Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast, was arrested, tried and convicted of the murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year sentence.
The couple maintained their innocence, insisting that they had spent the evening together at Sollecito's place watching a movie, smoking marijuana and making love.
Knox and Sollecito were initially convicted by a Perugia court in 2009, then acquitted and freed in 2011, and then convicted again in 2014 in Florence after the Cassation court overturned the acquittals and ordered a new appeals trial.
That Florence appeals conviction was overturned Friday.