(Photo by MIKE SIEGEL/Seattle Times, used with permission)
12:51 PM: Just in from Italy: Amanda Knox‘s conviction is overturned, per the live feed we are watching on KING. Sobs erupted in the courtroom. The slander charge, regarding something Knox said in the police interrogation regarding a bar owner for whom she had worked, is the only one that was not overturned. CNN is posting one-liner updates here. Perugia is nine hours ahead, so it’s already well into evening there; the day in court started with Knox, who grew up in West Seattle and has family here, and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito both pleading their case. Our partners at the Seattle Times have been tracking the developments overnight here, and are with the “Friends of Amanda Knox” group that had gathered at a downtown hotel to watch developments. “Amanda’s coming home, and that’s what we wanted,” a family friend has just told KING in a live report from that gathering.
1:01 PM: “We’re thankful that Amanda’s nightmare is over. She suffered four years for a crime she did not commit,” Knox’s sister Deanna Knox has just told the media in a news conference broadcast live. “…We now respectfully ask you to give Amanda and all of our family the privacy we need to recover from this ordeal.”
1:38 PM: Lots of comments from all over the region, nation, and world – including a statement from King County Executive Dow Constantine:
“Today’s acquittal is a dramatic vindication for Amanda and her family and friends here in West Seattle. I cannot be more pleased at this emotional outcome in the Italian court. Her family has been unrelenting in their pursuit of justice. After so much agony, their four-year ordeal can now come to an end.”
2:19 PM: Changed photos atop this story – the new one, also from the Times, is of the Seattle group that had gathered to await the decision, celebrating as it was announced. Meantime, there is word that Amanda Knox has just left the Italian prison and is now officially free.
5:24 PM: This account, among others, says she and her family will fly home from Italy tomorrow.