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An Italian jury found Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito not guilty killing and sexually assaulting her former roommate this afternoon.

Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s former boyfriend from Italy, had been accused of killing and sexually assaulting her roommate Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old Briton who shared an apartment with Knox when they were both students in Perugia.

Both Knox and Sollecito were immediately released by the Italian court.

Knox had been sentenced to 26 years in prison, Sollecito to 25 when they were both convicted in 2009. They both had denied wrongdoing. An Italian appeals court had been re-examining the case to determine whether Knox and Sollecite committed the crimes.

Earlier today, Knox tearfully told an Italian appeals court earlier today she did not kill her British roommate, pleading for the jury to free her so she can return to the United States after four years behind bars. Moments later, the court began deliberations.

Knox frequently paused for breath and fought back tears as she spoke in Italian to the eight members of the jury in a packed courtroom, but managed to maintain her composure during the 10-minute address.

“I’ve lost a friend in the worst, most brutal, most inexplicable way possible,” she said of the 2007 murder of Kercher, who had been stabbed to death in her bedroom. “I’m paying with my life for things that I didn’t do.”

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