Amanda Knox, the American College student who was convicted, then acquitted of the murder of her roommate in Italy. The case kept he behind bars for four years. Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of Killing Meredith Kercher. Part of the controversy over Knox’s trial and conviction was the story line it was not supported by much other than rumors and Knox’s in-prison diary. The 21-year old British exchange student Kercher was found dead, semi-naked with her throat slashed, in the Perugia villa she rented with Knox. Knox has given may tearful interviews in connection with her book tour “Waiting to be Heard”. Italian Supreme Court judges rule that Knox and her former boyfriend Sollecito should stand trial again for the death of Kercher.
Jodi Arias was convicted on May 8th of first degree murder of Alexander Travis, After the jury unanimously found that she intentionally killed her former boyfriend. Arias admitted to killing Travis, but claimed that she was forced to kill him in order to defend herself. She feared he would kill her since he had physically and emotionally abused her. Over four months of testimony, the defense team was never able to produce evidence to support the allegations against Alexander. The eight men and four women serving the jury were able to agree Arias was guilty of murder. Arias is expected to begin another penalty phase July 18th, but Judge Stephens has delayed her decision on new sentencing last week after defense attorneys claimed they needed more time to be able father witnesses to testify on Arias’s behalf. Over the weekend Arias stated that she was unsure if she would appeal her guilty verdict. The Trial was covered live on HLN and was closely followed on social media including other television networks.
Cleveland Kidnapping victims. Amanda Berry had screamed for help when a neighbor came to help her, and she and her 6 year old daughter and Gina Dejesus and Michelle Knight were freed after a decade of captivity. Castro has been charged in a 329-count indictment for the kidnaping and rape. Castro is also being charged with aggravated murder for the alleged forced termination of one woman’s pregnancy. The man, Ariel Castro has been charged of kidnaping and rape. The court had appointed a psychiatrist who is expected to evaluate the competency of Castro. If convicted Castro could face the death penalty. Castro will be returning to court July 3 for additional pre-trial hearings.
Zimmerman Trial. George Zimmerman is accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year old Trayvon Benjamin Martin In February 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Martin was black, and Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic. Before the shooting, Martin was living with his mother and his older brother in Miami Gardens, Florida where he was a student at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School. Martin went to Sanford to visit his father at the home of his father’s girlfriend, who lived in the Retreat at Twin Lakes. Martin was there for seven days before his death. On February 26, 2012, Zimmerman left his home in his car to go to a store. On his way to the store he called the department’s non-emergency line to report a suspicious person in his neighborhood. Officials had told him not to get out of his car or approach the person. Martin was walking back from a nearby 7-eleven, headed back to his father’s girlfriend’s home. Once authorities arrived Zimmerman admitted to authorities that he shot Marin, but it was in self-defense. A former neighbor of George Zimmerman testified Wednesday that she heard a boy’s cry for help shortly before hearing the firing of a gun. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty in Martin's slaying. The defense team claims Zimmerman was attacked by Martin and acted in self-defense. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison if he is convicted.