Meredith Kercher, a British university exchange student from Coulsdon, London, was murdered in Perugia, Italy, on 1 November 2007. Kercher, aged 21, was found dead on the floor of her bedroom. Some of her belongings were missing. The alarm had been raised by one of her flatmates, Amanda Knox, who had reported an apparent burglary when she arrived the next morning. Within hours the principal investigator had concluded that signs of a break-in had been staged to mislead the police enquiry, and Knox became the prime suspect. After being questioned a number of times over a four-day period, she implicated herself and Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner she worked for. He was then arrested along with Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Lumumba was released when forensic evidence pointed to Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native raised in Perugia. Guede was then accused of committing the murder along with Knox and Sollecito, as Lumumba had originally been. Guede was tried separately at a fast-track trial, in October 2008 he was found guilty of having sexually assaulted and murdered Kercher. He obtained a reduction in his sentence and is currently eligible for day release from prison.
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