Amanda Knox spends another birthday in an Italian cell

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by MARTIN FLETCHER / NBC News

KING5.com

Posted on July 9, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Amanda Knox, the American college student found guilty of murder in Italy, celebrated another somber birthday party behind bars today.It's the third birthday she has spent in an Italian prison.

Knox, a former University of Washington student from Seattle, and known in Italy as "Angel Face," is 23-years-old today - with 23 more years to serve after being found guilty of killing her English roommate.

This morning her mother and sister came for the weekly visit bearing birthday gifts.

"We'll sing happy birthday for her and make the best of I," said Edda Mellas, Amanda's mother.

"(I'll) hold her, hug, hold her hand, the whole time it'll be good," said Amanda's sister Deanne Knox.

Her mother gave Amanda a summer dress as a gift.
Amanda's birthday wish: to cook crab cakes on the small stove in her cell.

"For someone in jail innocent she holding up she's being strong," said Mellas.

They were able to spend an hour with Amanda. It's hard inside - more than 100 degrees in her cell, no air conditioning.
To make it even harder on them all, there's the prospect of having Amanda's 26 year prison sentence increased.
Knox's appeal is scheduled to be heard in October but the prosecution has also appealed and is calling for a tougher sentence. If Amanda wins, she'll go free but if she loses she could face life in prison.

To make matters even worse, both Amanda and her parents face new, similar charges of defamation. By claiming in court that Italian police abused her when she was arrested, If she fails to prove it her
And her parents, who made the same claim when answering a reporter's question, could be fined and even face jail time in Italy as well. Amanda's cell-mate could be her own mother.

It's kind of amazing that after a murder conviction the authorities are not only going after her but after her family as well," says legal expert Dan Abrams
So, there isn't much for the Knox family to celebrate - but for a short time today, they saw a smile on Amanda's face.
 

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