Monday, June 27, 2011

Man Responsible for Meredith Kercher's Murder Expected to Testify in Amanda Knox Case

The ongoing appeal trial for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito is expected to have an interesting twist as Rudy Guede is likely to take the stand today.

On the evening of November 1, 2007, Merdith Kercher's life was stolen from her by Rudy Guede, a small time burglar that ambushed Meredith when she arrived home while he was in the process of burglarizing her residence. Meredith's tragic death was the result of a senseless act of pure evil. Unfortunately this tragedy has been compounded twofold. 

First, the case was and continues to be completely mishandled by authorities leaving two innocent people wrongfully convicted. Three people have been tried and convicted for Meredith Kercher's murder: Rudy Guede, Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox.  However, all credible evidence in this case points to Rudy Guede.  Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had nothing to do with this crime and the evidence makes this extremely clear.

Second, the man responsible, Rudy Guede, will not be properly punished for his crime as he has been granted a far too lenient sentence on appeal. For Knox and Sollecito, the nightmare continues as they currently fight for their freedom. 

Guede’s expected testimony will be a follow up to last week’s appeal hearing where the court heard testimony from convicted child killer Mario Alessi. Alessi told the court that he was friends with Guede in prison and he spoke of conversations that he and Guede shared in the prison yard where Guede told him that Knox and Sollecito were innocent. Guede told Alessi that he and another man murdered Kercher. The defense brought three additional witnesses in to corroborate Alessi’s claims. 

The prosecution is likely calling Guede to the stand for nothing more than to refute the inmate's testimony.  But Guede has lied repeatedly throughout this case, modifying his stories, based on news reports as it best suited his defense, meaning anything he says on the stand will lack credibility. 

Guede was recorded during a Skype conversation before his arrest telling a friend that the reports on the news were incorrect. He said Amanda Knox  was not present the night the crime took place. After his arrest Guede realized he had no way out and repeatedly modified his story to help his own defense. His latest story suggests he was being intimate with Meredith in her room when he suddenly needed to use the bathroom. While he was in the bathroom Amanda and Raffaele came in and murdered Meredith. His stories were not accepted by the court but did help to suggest that Knox and Sollecito were present at the time of the murder. 

Guede's attorneys have done an excellent job of securing the most lenient punishment possible for his crime by convincing the court that Guede was merely an accomplice. Guede received a reduced sentence of 16 years on appeal, of which he will likely only serve a fraction, leaving many years of freedom in his future. 

How can I say with complete certainty that Rudy Guede murdered Meredith Kercher? Unlike Knox and Sollecito, Guede was arrested after the evidence collected at the crime scene was analyzed and that evidence points right to him—no one else, just him. There was no rush to judgment when it came to arresting Rudy Guede. Investigators found Guede’s hand print on a pillow cace found under the victim’s body. The fingerprints led them to their suspect. When police came looking for Guede, he had already fled to Germany. Thankfully, old fashioned police work nabbed Guede; he was stopped in Germany trying to board a train without a ticket and was immediately extradited back to Italy. 

The evidence of Guede's guilt is irrefutable and should have been more than sufficient to secure a life sentence for Guede.  Guede even admitted he was in Meredith’s room at the time of the attack. His DNA, along with Meredith’s blood, was found on Meredith's purse. His shoeprints, set in Meredith’s blood, were found in the bedroom and in the hallway leading out the front door. As mentioned above, his handprint, in Meredith’s blood, was found on a pillowcase underneath her body. Most importantly, Guede’s DNA was found inside Meredith’s body.

Guede has nothing to gain or lose (with regard to his prison sentence) by testifying at the Knox/Sollecito appeal on Monday, but he does have an opportunity to do what's right; he has the opportunity to actually tell the truth. Guede will never be able to correct the damage he has caused but he can show that he has an ounce of humanity left in his soul by stopping the destruction of two additional lives by informing the court that his accusations against Knox and Sollecito are nothing more than lies. His lies may have helped to secure his lenient punishment, but now it's time for him to set the record straight. Guede risks no additional prison time by telling the truth but I am not optimistic that he will find it in his heart to do so.

If Guede repeats his latest version of events, then it will be old news, but in the current environment, his testimony could cause the court to become distracted and lose focus on the big picture. The last hearing was a dramatic experience for the jury as they saw 5 inmates being ushered into the courtroom under tense security and on Monday the drama will pick up right where it left off. If Guede tells the prosecution what they want to hear, as I expect him to do, it’s crucial to keep in mind that we are hearing nothing new from Guede. His accusations should carry no more weight now then they did in the past. 

The prison stories we heard at last week’s trial may have been a glimpse of Guede’s conscience at work. As time goes by and the internal guilt gets more difficult to manage, Guede may find himself looking back with deep regret if he doesn’t attempt to correct some of the damage he has caused. We will have to wait and see if his conscience plays any role in his testimony today. More importantly we will see if Guede has a conscience.