Knox's aunt: Jury 'didn't listen to the facts'

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News and KING5.com Staff

KING5.com

Posted on December 4, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 4 at 6:19 PM

SEATTLE -  Relatives and friends of Amanda Knox in West Seattle put their heads in their hands and cried when they heard the news that Knox was found guilty in the murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

Knox's loved ones were gathered at the home of Janet and Mick Huff, Knox's aunt and uncle.

"Oh God, no," Mick cried when the verdict was announced.

"They didn't listen to the facts of the case. All they did was listen to the media… lies that were put out there," said Janet Huff.

"It's like my heart fell into my stomach. That's where I'm at now. I don't know how I'm going to sleep tonight," said Elisabeth Huff, Knox's grandmother.

"She is innocent and I think that a lot of people know that. I just don't think that the people that had the decision to make had the courage to make it," said Janet. "I think that they were scared, that they were intimidated because this person who's doing the prosecuting has put other people in jail for no reason and they're afraid. They're afraid of him."

Knox -- a 22-year-old former University of Washington student -- and her one-time boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were both convicted of the 2007 slaying of Kercher. All three were studying in Perugia in Italy's central Umbria region at the time.

"I am sure (Amanda) is in tears. She's crushed, but she's going to be concerned about how the rest of us are taking it," said Janet. "She'll be more worried about her grandmother than anything else."

Knox was given 26 years in prison. Sollecito received 25 years. They must also pay 5 million euros to Kercher's family – about $7.4 million U.S. Their attorneys plan to appeal.

When asked if she has any faith in the appeals process, Janet replied "that's all we have now." 

"Perugians had a chance to admit their mistake and they did not. They chose to ignore it, and it's not going to get swept under the rug. It's going to become worse now. This is going to be even more embarrassing because she is going to be acquitted eventually," said friend D.J. Johnsrud.

Janet hopes the U.S. government will step in.

"They've made promises that, if it comes to this, that they'll get involved and I'm hoping to God they'll keep to their promises now.

Some family members say they may move to Italy to be closer to Amanda and to prepare for the appeal.

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