Amanda Knox's Innocence Proclaimed by Italian Prisoners at Appeals Trial

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Mario Alessi was one of three inmates who testified to Amanda Knox's innocence.
As Amanda Knox's appeals trial hits its fever pitch, more and more of the case against her appears to be unraveling. At a hearing on Friday, cellmates of Rudy Guede, the first person convicted for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, testified that Italian prosecutors got it all wrong when they convicted Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of murder.

Mario Alessi, Luciano Aviello, and Marco Castelluccio, a convicted child killer, ex-Mafia member, and armed robber, respectively, each testified that Knox and Sollecito had nothing to do with the murder and that Guede, along with an unnamed Albanian man (Aviello's brother), acted alone.

CNN reports that the testimony was preceded by two hours of legal wrangling in which prosecutors argued that the men aren't to be trusted.

A judge eventually disagreed and allowed them to speak.

Alessi said Guede told him that he and his friend went over to Kercher's apartment trying to get her to have a threesome. She wasn't interested and things turned violent.

At one point a knife was produced--Alessi says it was the Albanian man who had the knife--and Knox was cut.

Guede, Alessi says, tried to stop the bleeding, but then the other man stabbed her again to "finish her off" and the two left.

Aviello told a different tale, though it also didn't include any participation by Knox and Sollecito. He testified that on the night of the murder, his brother came home with wounds and scratches on him and said that he'd killed Kercher.

His brother and Guede, Aviello testified, had gone to Kercher's house to steal a painting and ended up killing her in a scuffle. "Inside me I know that a miscarriage of justice has taken place," Aviello reportedly said at the hearing.

One other prisoner, Marco Castelluccio, also testified. He essentially echoed the claims of Alessi--that Guede told him that the Albanian man killed Kercher when she wouldn't have sex with them.

Guede's lawyers said that their client denies the inmates' stories.

The prosecutors' attempts to cast doubt on some of the men's testimony are not completely void of merit. Alessi was convicted of the shocking abduction and murder of an 18-month-old boy, and Aviello has been convicted of defamation seven times (though defamation cases in Italy are a dime-a-dozen).

It's unclear if the men were offered anything in exchange for their testimony.

Even if they were, with their words, the discredited DNA evidence, and the flawed testimony of other witnesses that put Knox and Sollecito at the crime scene, it would seem that the cards are coming up aces for camp Knox.

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