Amanda Knox arrives in Seattle

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by KING5 and Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on October 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 4 at 11:07 PM

Amanda Knox is back in Seattle. She arrived at Sea-Tac International Airport at 5:08 p.m. with her family on a British Airways flight from London.

An emotional Knox spoke to the media just 30 minutes after her plane touched down. [VIDEO: Watch the full press conference.]

"They're reminding me to speak in English; I've been having problems with that," Knox joked, a reminder for everyone that she's spent nearly the past four years in an Italian prison cell.

"I'm really overwhelmed right now," Knox said, speaking carefully and clearly to the media while simultaneously smiling and appearing to hold back tears. She wore a gray cardigan, black leggings and had her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

"Looking down from the airplaine, it seemed like everything wasn't real. I want to thank everyone who's believed in me, who's defended me, who's suported my family. My family is the most important thing to me right now, and I just want to go be with them. Thank you for being there for me." [VIDEO: Watch Amanda Knox's statement.]

Cheers were heard from the crowd of media and onlookers gathered in the room after Knox spoke.

Before Knox spoke, her parents addressed the assembled media. "This has been a very long four years," Curt Knox said. "We couldn't have made it through without all the people out here who supported us, and especially Amanda."

Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, said, "All I can say again, thank you." 

Amanda Knox's attorney, Theodore Simon, also spoke, reiterating her claims on innocence in the case, which has made her a tabloid staple on two continents.

Monday's legal "decision announces to the world that Amanda Knox was wrongly convicted and that she was not, absolutely not responsible for the tragic loss of  Meredith Kercher," Simon said.

At the end of the press conference, family spokesman Dave Marriott asked the media to respect the family's privacy in the coming days.

Just one hour after the flight from London landed, Curt Knox arrived at his West Seattle home. Asked where his daughter is, Knox said: "I can pretty much guarantee you that you won't find her."

"She needs some space," he added. Altogether, he spoke to the media from his driveway for nearly half an hour, answering a wide range of questions about his daughter and how the family coped with the legal drama.

Friends and family who held spaghetti dinners, bowling events and concerts to raise money for Knox's defense waited anxiously for her plane to touch down -- a moment that took four years to happen.

"WELCOME HOME AMANDA," read the marquee at the Easy Street record store in West Seattle, where Knox grew up.

Another welcome sign was hung at her father's house. A bar offered half-price drinks to celebrate her acquittal.

Knox's life turned around dramatically Monday when an Italian appeals court threw out her conviction in the Nov. 2007 sexual assault and fatal stabbing of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

The court's decision, fueled by doubts over DNA evidence, stunned the victim's family and angered the prosecution, which insists that she was among three people who killed 2 Kercher.

Knox, 24, left Perugia's Capanne prison Monday night amid cheers that a companion compared to those at a soccer stadium.

She was soon on her way home, protected by the darkened windows of a Mercedes that led her out of the prison in the middle of the night, and then Tuesday morning to Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. She flew from Rome to London, where she boarded British Airways Flight 49 to Seattle, flying business class.

"Those who wrote, those who defended me, those who were close, those who prayed for me," Knox wrote in a letter released just hours before leaving Italy, "I love you."

Knox thanked those Italians "who shared my suffering and helped me survive with hope," in a letter to the Italy-U.S. Foundation, which seeks to promote ties between the two countries.

"We've spent a lot of time waiting," her uncle Michael Huff said in Seattle. "We're planning a big hug. We'll see day to day how it goes. She's going to have to get acclimated. She's a strong kid."

 

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