October 26, 2008

Defendant Says He Was Framed in Killing

Rudy Guede's attorney says his client was framed in the death of Meredith Kercher, a British exchange student slain in Italy last year.

A verdict is expected Tuesday in Guede's case, while a judge is expected to rule this week on whether Amanda Knox, 21, of Seattle, and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 24, are to be tried for murder, The Sunday Times of London reported.

Guede, 21, who opted for a fast-track trial, was in the Perugia house shared by Kercher and Knox but was in the bathroom listening to his iPod when Kercher was killed in the bedroom last November, said his lawyer, Walter Biscotti.

Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito have suggested a burglar, possibly Guede, killed Kercher when she found him in the house. Biscotti claims Guede had consensual sex with Kercher that night but did not rape her. Guede, who was born in the Ivory Coast and grew up in Italy, has been portrayed as a drifter by Knox and Sollecito's lawyers, the Times reported.

Prosecutors have argued the three defendants killed Kercher during an erotic game and that it was Knox who cut Kercher's throat.