SEATTLE, Wash. Now a free woman, Amanda Knox is back in her hometown of Seattle after four years in an Italian prison, wrongly convicted of her British roommate's murder.
A crowd cheered as Knox and her family entered a room filled with supporters and reporters for a press conference.
Her voice shaking and body trembling, Knox spoke briefly. I'm really overwhelmed right now... What's important for me to say is just, 'thank you' to everyone who has believed in me, who has defended me, who has supported my family, she said. My family is just the most important thing to me right now and I just want to go and be with them.
Her attorney, Theodore Simon, also spoke, along with her father. Simon reiterated her innocence in the case, which has made her a tabloid staple on two continents.
Just the day before, an Italian appeals court dramatically overturned the American student's conviction of sexually assaulting and brutally slaying her British roommate.
Now back home, Knox's family said she wishes to spend time outdoors, and to respect her privacy.
Knox dissolved into tears as the verdict was read in a packed courtroom in Italy, after 11 hours of deliberations, and she needed to be propped up by her lawyers on either side. Knox, a University of Washington student was studying abroad in Perugia at the time of the murder.
Slain roommate's family stunned
Meantime, the family of Knox's former roommate Meredith Kercher said they have been left to wonder who is guilty in the 21-year-old's death after the release of Knox and her one time boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on appeal.
A third man has been convicted in the brutal slaying, however his trial concluded he did not act alone.
If the two released yesterday were not the guilty parties, we are obviously left to wonder who is the other guilty person or people. We are left back at square one, Lyle Kercher said.
If the highest court overturns the acquittal, prosecutors would be free to request Knox's extradition to Italy to finish whatever remained of a sentence. It is up to the government to decide whether they make such a request.
Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher, a 21-year-old British student who shared an apartment with Knox in Perugia. Knox was convicted to 26 years, Sollecito to 25. Both had been in prison since Nov. 6, 2007, four days after Kercher's body had been found at the apartment.
But, the prosecution's case was blown apart by a court-ordered DNA review that discredited crucial genetic evidence.
Photos: Amanda Knox court verdict