ROME (AP) — Amanda Knox's lawyers have formally asked Italy's court of last resort to review the U.S. student's appeals court conviction for the 2007 stabbing murder of her British roommate.
Defense lawyer Luciano Ghirga told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the paperwork was submitted last week to the Court of Cassation, Italy's highest criminal court.
Knox's lawyers had promised the move after a Florence appeals court in January reinstated a lower court's murder convictions of her and her Italian former boyfriend in the slaying of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, where all three were studying. The defense filed its recourse after studying the appeals court's written rationale, issued in April, for the convictions.
Cassation judges can either uphold the convictions if they find the appeals trial was properly conducted or order yet another appellate trial. Ghirga said the Cassation Court might take up the case late this year or in early 2015.
The January ruling against Knox included a 28-1/2-year prison sentence for her and a 25-year sentence for her ex-boyfriend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito.
Knox, a University of Washington student, has been in the United States since 2011. She left Italy right after an earlier appeals court ruling overturned the initial lower court conviction that had led to her imprisonment in Italy. The American, who turns 27 next month, has vowed the she would never "willingly" return to Italy to face her fate in court.
She has said she is hopeful Italian courts will "once again recognize" her innocence.
In the 337-page document in which the Florence court laid out its reasons for the convictions, the presiding judge contended Knox herself delivered the fatal knife blow, writing that the American wanted to "humiliate the victim."
Sollecito has also proclaimed his innocence.