An Italian court has overturned the guilty verdict of American Amanda Knox after she spent nearly four years in prison.
Knox, 24, collapsed in tears after the acquittal was read Monday in the city of Perugia. Addressing the media on behalf of her family, Amanda's sister Deanna said the decision meant "the nightmare is over."
Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito, 27, Knox's former boyfriend from Italy, were convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith Kercher in 2007. Kercher -- a 21-year-old Briton who shared an apartment with Knox when they were both students in Perugia -- was found stabbed to death in her bedroom.
Knox was sentenced to
26 years in prison, while Sollecito got 25 years. Both had denied
wrongdoing. Sollecito was also cleared of the charges along with Knox on Monday.
The judge upheld a conviction of Knox on a charge of slander for accusing a bar owner of carrying out the killing. He set that sentence at three years, but since Knox has been in prison since Nov. 6, 2007, it was ordered that she be set free.