SEATTLE/PERUGIA, (Reuters) – Amanda Knox returned home to Seattle yesterday, one day after an Italian court cleared the 24-year-old college student of murder and freed her from prison.
A plane carrying Knox, who grew up in the close-knit West Seattle neighborhood where both of her divorced parents still live, landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport shortly after 5 p.m. local time.
Knox wiped away tears as she spoke to a throng of reporters at the airport minutes after she stepped off the plane.
“They are reminding me to speak in English because I’m having trouble with that,” Knox, 24, said in brief remarks. “I’m really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn’t real.”
A former University of Washington student, Knox thanked “everyone who has believed in me, who has defended me,” during her ordeal. “I just want my family. That’s the most important thing to me right now, and I just want to go be with them.”
Anne Bremner, a Seattle defense attorney and spokeswoman for Friends of Amanda Knox, said that, according to her family, Knox was looking forward to having a backyard barbecue, being outside in the grass, playing soccer and seeing old friends.
“Just normal things that you would want to do after being in prison for four years for a crime you didn’t do,” she said.
Knox sobbed on hearing that the court had overturned her 2009 conviction for murdering her housemate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, in what prosecutors have said was a drug-fueled sexual assault.
Also cleared was her former boyfriend, Rafaele Sollecito, leaving Ivorian drifter Rudy Guede as the only person convicted in a killing which investigators believe was carried out by more than one person.