A 28-year-old man serving a 26-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting and murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher was freed Friday, a decision to be appealed, his lawyer said.
Rudy Hermann Guede was freed after his lawyer filed a legal complaint claiming that the charge was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The case sparked international media attention as the murder of Kercher, a 21-year-old exchange student, was not solved until 2011 when Guede’s co-defendant, Italian Amanda Knox, was acquitted.
In the 2011 verdict, Guede was found guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher. He had previously been acquitted of the murder, but the Court of Cassation in Florence overturned that ruling and ordered a retrial in 2011. The court has already decided that the trial should be re-examined as a whole in March.
Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 after spending four years in an Italian prison, but Italy’s supreme court ordered a new trial in 2013. Sollecito is still serving an 18-year sentence.
Amanda Knox was acquitted and freed by an Italian court in 2011, only to later be acquitted and convicted of the murder by the same appeals court in October. Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were also found guilty of Kercher’s 2007 murder.
Guede, 29, was originally sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder, but dropped the charges and fled Italy for Germany. He was extradited to Italy in 2012 and held in prison until January 2014.
Knox and Sollecito were sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder. Knox admitted in 2011 to having sex with Kercher before she was attacked. Kercher died from wounds to her head and chest, and her throat was slashed. She was found on Nov. 2, 2007, in her apartment in Perugia, Italy.
Amanda Knox and Sollecito
Guede and two other men went to Kercher’s apartment that night but were turned away because the apartment was occupied.