Amanda Knox Verdict: GUILTY of Murder, Sentenced to 28 Years

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An Italian court has returned a verdict in the third trial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in the 2007 death of Meredeth Kercher:

Knox was found guilty of the crime for the second time in the notorious case.

Hard Knox Life

Amanda was sentenced to 28 years and six months in jail, though it's rather unclear if she'll ever serve even a day of that. More on that in a second.

The first two trials produced flip-flop verdicts of guilty then innocent for Knox and Sollecito, who were acquitted on appeal in 2011 after four years in custody.

An appeals court found that important evidence regarding blood and DNA had been handled improperly by investigators, leading to the released of the duo.

But Italy's supreme court, called the Court of Cassation, dismissed that ruling based on what it said was key evidence that had been omitted during the appeal.

A new trial, at which Amanda Knox did not appear, began in 2013.

The three-day deliberations were closely watched as jurors were tasked with either confirming or overturn the initial guilty verdict "as if the acquittal never happened."

Jurors deliberated into the night before delivering the guilty verdict that comes as a blow to Knox and Sollecito, who can lodge a further appeal with the Supreme Court.

So what comes next for the 26-year-old media sensation?

Knox's situation is complicated by her absence. Experts say it is unlikely Italy will seek extradition until a verdict is finalized, a process that can take a year.

She told Italian state TV in an interview earlier this month that she would wait for the verdict at her mother's house in Washington "with my heart in my throat."

Knox's absence does not formally hurt her case since she had been freed by a court and defendants in Italy are not required to appear at their trials.

However, judge Alessandro Nencini reacted sternly to her emailed statement, noting that defendants have a right to be heard if they appear in person.

Some experts say it is unlikely Knox will return to Italy. Ever.

Because U.S. law dictates that a person cannot be tried twice on the same charge, she is likely to fight extradition on those grounds if Italy seeks it.

Sollecito, meanwhile, did appear at the trial and faces arrest.

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