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Amanda Knox Verdict: Italian Jury Will Announce Decision at 6 P.M. Eastern

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Photo: Amanda Knox

PERUGIA, Italy An Italian jury has reached a verdict in the trial of American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who are standing trial for the murder of Knox' British roommate Meredith Kercher.

The court is expected to announce the verdict at 6 p.m. EST, from the eight members of the jury, including two judges, who were sequestered in a room in the Perugia courthouse.

In November 2007, Kercher, 21, was found fatally stabbed in the neck in her bedroom at the home she rented with Knox in the central Italian university town of Perugia, where Kercher, Knox and Sollecito were all students.

Prosecutors claimed that Knox, Sollecito, and another man, Rudy Guede, who has already been convicted, killed Kercher in a sex game gone wrong. They have claimed DNA evidence puts the suspects at the scene.

Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito insist they are innocent. Their lawyers have argued that the DNA evidence against them was tainted; the knife prosecutors claim is the murder weapon does not fit Kercher's wounds; and they have derided the supposed sex game motive as nonsense.

Both Knox, who is from Seattle, and Sollecito have been jailed since shortly after the slaying. They were taken to their cells as they awaited the ruling.

Kercher's parents, John and Arline Kercher, arrived in Perugia Friday evening with their surviving children Stephanie and Layle.

They were surrounded by photographers and television cameras as they tried to make their way into the hotel but refused to comment as reporters asked them what they expected from the verdict.

Curt Knox, Amanda Knox's father, did talk to reporters outside the Perugia courthouse. "They've got two 20-old kids and they are going to be determining their life," he said of the jury.

If Knox and Sollecito are convicted, they could receive life in prison, Italy's maximum penalty.

Photo: Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie and mother Arline arrive in Perugia, Italy, Dec. 4, 2009.

Photo: From left, Chris Mellas, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox respectively stepfather, mother and father of Amanda Knox arrive at Perugia's court Nov. 28, 2009.

Photo: Murder victim Meredith Kercher.

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