Amanda Marie Knox is an American woman who was convicted, along with Raffaele Sollecito, of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy. Knox maintained her innocence and the case was the subject of intense media interest in America, where the guilty verdict was widely seen as flawed. Knox spent almost four years in prison before a second-level or appeal trial freed both her and Sollecito in October 2011, and she returned to the US. The prosecution appealed to the Italian Supreme Court, which ordered the case to be re-heard. The second appeal trial of Knox and Sollecito began in September 2013, with Knox remaining in the US. On January 30, 2014, the court returned guilty verdicts, sentencing her to 28 years in prison. Both Knox and Sollecito remain free; in Italy a guilty verdict in a serious case is not regarded as a definitive conviction until the accused has exhausted the appeals process. A third person, Rudy Guede, was convicted of the murder in a separate trial and is currently serving his sentence.