Italy pushes for life in prison for American

Prosecutors on Saturday asked an Italian court to hand down life sentences to an American student and her ex-boyfriend for their alleged roles in the fatal stabbing of a young British woman during a drug-fueled sex game.

PERUGIA, Italy — Prosecutors on Saturday asked an Italian court to hand down life sentences to an American student and her ex-boyfriend for their alleged roles in the fatal stabbing of a young British woman during a drug-fueled sex game.

In their closing arguments, prosecutors said Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito should be convicted on charges of murder and sexual violence for the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher. They deny wrongdoing.

Knox, who is from Seattle, took a deep breath when Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini requested life imprisonment — Italy’s stiffest punishment. She then addressed the court, saying that the accusations against her were “pure fantasy.”

“Meredith was my friend, I didn’t hate her,” she said in Italian, fighting back tears.

The Briton’s body, her throat slit, was found in a pool of blood on Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment she shared with Knox in the central Italian town of Perugia.

Prosecutors argued that Knox resented her British roommate and killer her together with Sollecito and Rudy Hermann Guede, of Ivory Coast, under “the fumes of drugs and possibly alcohol.”

They said Knox hit Kercher’s head against a wall, then tried to strangle her, as Sollecito held her and Guede sexually assaulted her. Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison last year for the killing after a fast-track trial he had requested. He also denies wrongdoing and is appealing his conviction.

The 22-year-old Knox maintains she spent the night of the murder at Sollecito’s house in Perugia. The 25-year-old Sollecito has said he was home working at his computer that night. He said he does not remember if Knox spent the whole night with him.

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