Re Depp v Heard damages hearing Fiday. Good report here. Judgement entered: $10.35m to Depp less $2m to Heard. AH must post $8.35m bond plus interest to appeal, her lawyer balked but judge firmly insisted. Only known appeal grounds is judicial error, no neutral lawyer points to any. If appeal fails, Depp gets $8.35m instantly. Good analysis here.

Category: Cellphone activity

Friday, June 19, 2009

Trial: Defendant’s Mother Recounts Her Version Of Phonecalls The Day After

Posted by Peter Quennell



[courtesy AP, click for larger image]

Click for the report by La Nazione in Italian. A quick translation:

Edda Mellas said three phone calls were made to her by Amanda on the morning of November 2 Perugia time when Meredith’s body was discovered without life in the house on via della Pergola.

“The first call arrived at 4 am, I do not know that time in Italy. Amanda told me that she had a suspicion that someone could be in the house because the door was open. It was just a suspicion as the main door had a troublesome lock and sometimes it did not not close. “

Mrs. Mellas recalled that Amanda had said in the first call that she found unusual things while taking a shower,

“There was blood in the bathroom, and I thought it could be from the cycle of one of the girls who then did not clean up well, but I suspect more it could have come from the edge of the bath,”

Amanda then said she had come from Raffaele’s where she had spent the whole night.

“The second call came an hour I think after the first. Amanda was completely desperate because in the room of Meredith, the inspectors had found her body.”

Shortly after, Amanda again called her mother in Seattle.

“A few minutes later she called again. She was crying that they had found her body in the room of Meredith. She was completely distraught.”

On a recent post here on TJMK Finn McCool tried hard to make sense of the timing and content of those calls to Seattle. 

Today, the description and timing of those calls still seems to remain a problem. 

On the Perugia Murder File Forum Michael is pointing out that Mrs Mellas might have dropped her daughter in the soup.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 06/19/09 at 06:00 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesCellphone activityTrials 2008 & 2009Amanda KnoxComments here (16)

Trail: TGCOM Reports On The First Of Edda Mellas’s Testimony

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for the report in Italian. A quick translation of the first testimony of Mrs Mellas:

After the murder of Meredith Kercher, Amanda Knox never thought of leaving Italy. So said the mother of the young American, Edda Mellas, testifying before the Court of Assizes of Perugia.

The woman is responding assisted by an interpreter. She reported that her daughter had a good relationship with Meredith and the other flatmates…

Edda Mellas spoke of the conversation with Amanda in prison November 10. “She was feeling badly for the fact that Patrick had been dragged into this brutal story,” she explained. “She felt badly for having advanced the name of Patrick”...


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Three More Scenarios For The Night That Accord With The Timeline

Posted by Fiori


[Above: the platform where we believe Meredith first set foot in Perugia]

I seem to be one of a growing number aching to see true justice for Meredith to be the final conclusion to all this. 

Like many others here I am struggling to make sense of a reported pattern of events that is confusing and incomplete, and in terms of a motive possibly senseless.

And like some of the others here I have been trying to fit the facts as they emerge into a sort of a chronological framework. I draw from Michael’s excellent Master Timeline for the known overall chronology.

These below are three possible scenarios. They presume for the sake of argument that the defendants were in fact involved, along with Rudy Guede. The scenarios all have one common front end through to just after 9 pm, but thereafter, they differ slightly. And at bottom (under the “click for more”) I have included some annotations on key elements.

These scenarios may stand or fall as the trial moves forward, but I hope they inspire other scenarios so we may all conclude that the crime really has been properly solved and true justice for Meredith is widely perceived as a reality.

Common front end to all three scenarios

I am presuming that although the exact timing may have been vague (nobody knew when Meredith would arrive home) something involving Meredith was intended. Events involving the alibis and other statements, cell phones and the knife, and assembly at the house, simply seem too hard to explain otherwise.

1 pm: Meredith and Amanda Knox each have lunch in the cottage. Perhaps some annoying subjects are discussed. Perhaps Meredith comments on Knox’s behavior around the house and her male visitors, as only a thin wall separates their two bedrooms.

5 to 6 pm: Knox and Sollecito stroll around in the center of town and, by chance perhaps, they meet with Rudy Guede. They perhaps believe that Guede has some desire for Meredith. They make an appointment to meet Guede at 8.30 pm at the cottage, perhaps intending to edge Meredith into an affair with Guede as a payback for Meredith’s problems with Knox. 

6 to 8 pm:Knox and Sollecito are at Sollecito’s apartment and consider what might lie ahead for them that evening. There are the interactions with Lumumba and the woman who had asked for a lift to the station.

8:30 pm Guede arrives and waits at the cottage for Knox to arrive.

8:40 pm Mobile phones of Knox and Sollecito are switched off, with the seeming intention of preventing Knox and Sollecito from being disturbed or traced.

8:45 pm: Knox walks home to her cottage and admits Guede, and Sollecito follows shortly after with some mushrooms

8:50 pm: Knox and Sollecito and Guede are in the kitchen of the cottage, perhaps cooking mushrooms, perhaps dealing or using drugs, and perhaps all three waiting for Meredith.

8:56 pm: After saying goodbye to Robyn on her way home from the English girls’ house, Meredith calls her mother while walking, but her call is interrupted for some unknown reason

9:10 pm: Meredith enters the cottage, and is so displeased about the party in the kitchen that she goes on to her room, being demonstrative about not joining the party.

Now for three different possibilities

The scenarios below are actually not mutually exclusive, but they inscribe a different ordering and weighting of the information. These are my factual baselines:

a) The car breakdown in front of the gate makes it seems unlikely that Meredith was murdered between 10.30 and 11.20. So either Knox and Sollecito are IN the cottage during the whole hour from 10.30 to 11.20, or they are OUTSIDE the cottage the whole time.

b) The testimony of Curatola in the park seems credible, but what did he precisely see? “He said also that, although he did not watch them all the time “¦. He originally said that they were there from 9:30 through midnight, but clarified that they were there at 9:30-10:00pm and may have left around 11-11:30 and then returned to be there just before midnight” (quote from Stewarthome2000 on TJMK on 3/29). See my annotation below on this.

c) Cell phone activity: “.. Meredith’s cell phone made a call (not a phone call but a GPS call attempt) at I believe around 10:15 pm, and that the call was made from the area where the phones were found the next day as it involved a different cell tower than those covering Via della Pergola” (quote from Stewarthome2000 on TJMK, 3/21)

In other places this information is confirmed and the time is given as 10.13. This is a crucial point, as it is then impossible that Meredith made the call while struggling. The scenario by Brian S on TJMK on 3/31 suggested “ The scenario suggests is that Meredith was struggling with her attackers from around the time of her aborted call at 10:13 pm until sometime just before 10:30 pm.”

I suggest that Knox and/or Sollecito were responsible for throwing Meredith’s two mobile phones away in the garden, as a) I feel it does not fit the psychology of Guede to think to take the cell phones, and b) the position of the call does not fit with Guede seen leaving the cottage at 10.30. If Guede had taken the phones, he would have had to leave the cottage around 10.05 pm, in order for the cell phones to be in the area of the other cell phone mast at 10.13,  See my annotation below on this.

The first scenario

9.15: Meredith goes to her bedroom, perhaps to try to go to sleep. She was known to be tired after a late night on Halloween.

9.20: Knox and Sollecito perhaps steal Meredith’s mobile phones now, to prevent her from calling the police during whatever the event was with Guede that they intended.

9.35: Guede hides in the toilet at a distance from Meredith’s room, to prevent Meredith from hearing that he remains in the house, while “¦

9.35: Knox and Sollecito perhaps now leave the house to create an alibi for themselves for the staged event between Meredith and Guede (presumably a rape) so they can afterwards claim that they did not know that Guede was still in the house after they left. Knox and Sollecito walk to Piazza Grimana (Curatolo as witness). They take with them Meredith’s cell phones.

9.40: Guede leaves the toilet and enters Meredith’s room, perhaps trying to lure/force Meredith into having relations with him.

10.00: Guede and Meredith are the ones heard arguing loud (Marlacchia as witness) and Meredith fights back as Guede tries to rape her. Guede tries to strangle Meredith to keep her quiet

10.00: Knox and Sollecito are up at Piazza Grimana, walking to and from the wall, discussing how things might be developing within the cottage. Then they split up.

10.10: Knox returns to the cottage, and finds Meredith wounded/struggling in the bedroom/kitchen; and a big fight, including the use of a knife, is still taking place.

10.13: Sollecito (leaving to pick up his car?) throws Meredith’s phones into the garden where the cell phones are found the next morning. As Meredith’s cell phone hits the ground and tumbles around, the call function is activated.

10.20: Sollecito arrives back at the cottage and more knives become involved

10.25: Meredith’s is stabbed fatally in the neck, screams out loud (Capezzali as witness, uncertain about the time)

10.30: Guede flees the cottages (Formica, witness)

10.30: Knox and Sollecito flee the cottage (diverse witnesses hear running)

10.35- 11.15: A car is parked in front of the house, blocking the entrance, and the breakdown receives assistance from the tow truck (Lambrotti as witness)

11.30: Knox and Sollecito are again watched by Curatola up at Piazza Grimana

The second scenario

9.15-9.35: The party develops out of hand, and Meredith is deadly wounded in the struggle with Knox, Sollecito, and Guede.

9.35: Knox and Sollecito leave the house and walk to Piazza Grimana (Curatolo as witness). They take Meredith’s cell phones with them. They discuss what to do. Problem here: where is Guede?

10.00: Knox and Sollecito split up, and Knox returns to the house.

10.00: Knox and Guede argue loudly in the house (Marlacchia as witness).

10.00: Sollecito picks up his car at home, and while driving”¦

10.13: “¦ Sollecito throws Merediths phones into the garden where the cell phones later are found.

10.15: Sollecito park his car in front of the cottage (to use the car for”¦.?)

10.30: Guede flees (but why wait until now?)

10.30-11.20: Sollecito is with Knox in the cottage. (doing what for one hour?)

10.35- 11.15: Car parked in front of the house, blocking the entrance, and the breakdown receives assistance from the tow truck (Lambrotti as witness)

11.20: Knox now screams? (Capezzali as witness)

11.23: Knox and Sollecito flee the cottage (diverse witnesses hear running on the stairs)

11.45: Knox and Sollecito are again watched by Curatola at Piazza Grimana

The third scenario

Note: this one does not fit the forensics timeframe for Meredith’s death which was put at between 9.00 and 11.00 pm

10.30: Guede departs from the cottages (Formica as witness) leaving Meredith behind, perhaps strangled into unconsciousness.

10.35- 11.15: Car parked in front of the house, blocking the entrance, and the breakdown receives assistance from the tow truck (Lambrotti as witness)

11.15: Knox and Sollecito enter the house “¦. 

11.20: Knox and Sollecito perhaps now kill Meredith (scream with Capazzali as witness)

11.13: Knox and Sollecito flee the cottage (diverse witnesses hear running)

11.45: Knox and Sollecito are again watched by Curatola at Piazza Grimana

Four annotations on the evidence

 

Please click here for more

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Puzzle Of The Cell Phones: Was Rudy Doomed From The Start?

Posted by Arnold_Layne


Current thinking is that about a year after the three were arrested, Rudy Guede’s team decided to request a fast-track trial because his team thought Knox and Sollecito might craft a defense that made Guede appear more guilty. 

After he was convicted, defense supporters of course seized upon his conviction as the basis for the “lone wolf theory”.  It is possible, however, that Guede’s defense team was more correct all along than they might have realized - that he really was being set up.

What did Knox and Sollecito actually have planned?  Admittedly Sollecito had his knife fetish, and Knox’s sexuality was, well, you know.  But since none had committed any violent crimes in the past, it is unlikely that they planned to commit one quite so significant as a murder at this point. 

Contrary to what I had previously thought, Mignini may also be correct in his game theory.  Their plan might have been to coerce Meredith into having sex with someone.  If they couldn’t “talk her into it” they planned on intimidating her with the very large knife they brought along.

There is an inconsistency in the various scenarios that have been put forth.  In one scenario, all three came to the cottage intending to physically harm Meredith, and that is why they brought the knife and turned their cell phones off.  This doesn’t really make much sense because, for a murder, or even an assault with a knife, it was incredibly poorly planned. 

Additionally, and more importantly, none of these people had a criminal past and so it is unlikely they would plan on committing quite such a horrible crime.

Another scenario, which is along Mignini’s lines, is that the three planned to use the knife only to intimidate Meredith into doing what they wanted ““ which was to get involved in a sex act with Guede by coercing and threatening her.  This activity could be considered a sex game. 

If the terrifying trio had planned on going to see Meredith merely to play a game, then why did Sollecito and Knox turn their cell phones off?

They must have realized that there was a possibility that what they were setting out to do could end poorly.  If Meredith went along with what they planned, all would be okay.  Hopefully, she’d be a good sport when it was over.  If this is how it played out, there would have been no need to turn their cell phones off. 

But on the other hand, if she wasn’t a good sport, and called the police, they would be able to move to Plan B: blame Rudy, and deny that they were even there.  Turning their cell phones off fits with this outcome.

What this all suggests is that Rudy Guede really might have been set up. 

He clearly would have left evidence of a sexual attack; but the two others, not so much.  In fact, they may have planned to set Rudy up before they even asked him to participate.  Their plan right from the start might have been to bring in a third person to take the fall if things didn’t go well.

So Sollecito and Knox might have planned a plausible sequence of events as an alibi in which Guede would be the only perp and they could be at Sollecito’s smoking hash and watching Internet movies. 

So they needed someone who the police could easily accuse of the crime, and Rudy Guede filled the bill.

Why did they turn their cell phones off if they were only going to play a game?  I think they had already planned to get a bit more serious, and to implicate Guede as the perp.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Best Shot At Making Amanda Knox’s Timeline Alibi Mesh With 4 November Email

Posted by FinnMacCool




1. Circumstance Of The Knox Email

Amanda Knox’s first encounters with police and other witnesses the day after go to the very heart of her credibility.

On Sunday 4 November 2007 Amanda Knox wrote an email to a student welfare officer at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Knox related what she said had happened at the house on Friday the 2nd before the communication police arrived to establish why Meredith’s two mobile phones were tossed into a garden a kilometer away.

This email was written while Amanda was alone and under no pressure.

Copies went to various relatives and friends. For many of her supporters, it represents the essential truth of what happened, before Amanda was interrogated by the police and began changing her story.

This analysis covers the period from noon to a quarter past one on the Friday, the day that Meredith Kercher’s murder was discovered.

It compares the claims in the email with cellphone records for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the period.

2. Contents Of The Email

According to the email, Amanda and Raffaele were initially at Raffaele’s apartment at noon on November 2nd.

The email describes how Amanda spoke with Filomena Romanelli and then tried to reach Meredith Kercher by phone.

It then explains that Amanda and Raffaele returned to the cottage, where they found evidence of a break-in, alongside some bloodstains which Amanda had already noticed.

They also observed that Meredith’s door was locked. After they tried and failed to break down this door, they phoned the police.

After that, Amanda claims she called Filomena once again, who said she would return to the cottage.

Problem: cellphone records do not support this story, and nor do the police.

Two police officers arrived at the cottage to investigate Meredith’s two phones, which had been found in a neighbor’s garden. The police claim they arrived at 12:25, and video evidence appears to support this.

Amanda and Raffaele dispute the video evidence. They claim that the police arrived much later, after the call to the emergency services which Raffaele made at 12:55.

Below, we look first at the scenario described by Amanda, followed by the scenario described by the police, with a view to determining what really happened in that crucial hour between noon and one. 

3. First scenario: Knox a/c essentially true, police a/c essentially inaccurate

If we assume that the police are basically incorrect, and that Amanda Knox’s email is basically correct, in their respective rememberings of what happened on November 2 between noon and 1315, that leaves us with several puzzling questions. Here are some of them:

1. Where was Amanda at 1208?

At 1208, Amanda calls Filomena. Amanda claims that she made this call from Raffaele’s house.

However, in his prison diary, Raffaele describes the same conversation as taking place at the cottage.

Filomena says that Amanda explained, in that conversation, that she was at the cottage, and was on her way to fetch Raffaele.

2. Why didn’t Amanda call Raffaele?

Even though Amanda claims to have walked alone to the cottage, and to have been concerned enough about the bloodstains to want to bring Raffaele to have a look at them, she never attempted to phone Raffaele at all during the whole of that morning.

3. Why did Amanda stop calling Meredith’s phones?

Amanda first tried calling Meredith’s Italian phone at 12:07. At 12:08 she calls Filomena, who advises her to try Meredith’s phones. She doesn’t tell Filomena that she tried the UK phone just a minute ago (nor does she mention this in her email).

In the email, Amanda says she called Meredith’s phones after speaking to Filomena ““ cellphone records support this claim. But she also says that the Italian phone “just kept ringing, no answer”.

Her cellphone records show this call lasted just three seconds, and the call to the UK phone lasted just four seconds. (The WeAnswer Call service, which prides itself on how quickly it answers its customers’ calls, boasts that their average speed-of-answer is 5.5 seconds.)

Next, Amanda claims that she returns to the cottage with Raffaele.

But why doesn’t she try Meredith’s phones again? If the Italian phone was going to continually ring again ““ even for just three seconds ““ she’d now be able to hear it through the bedroom door (assuming Meredith had it with her).

But this doesn’t seem to have occurred to either Amanda or Raffaele.

4. Why didn’t Amanda call Filomena back?

In the 12:08 call, Amanda told Filomena she would try Meredith’s phones and then call her back.

In the email, Amanda claims that she called Filomena back three quarters of an hour later ““ after Raffaele’s finished calling the police at 12:55.

But cellphone records show that Amanda never called Filomena back at all.

On the other hand, Filomena DOES call Amanda back ““ at 12:12 and 12:20. It’s not clear whether Filomena receives an answer to these calls, or simply leaves a message ““ certainly, Amanda’s email makes no mention of having received these calls.

Then Filomena tries a third time, at 12:34, which is when Amanda tells her that Filomena’s own room has been broken into.

5. Why doesn’t Amanda mention that she called her mother in Seattle?

Her cellphone records also show that Amanda called her mother at 12:47 ““ but she makes no mention of this call in her email.

Edda Mellas claims that she told Amanda to hang up and call the police ““ but Amanda makes no mention of this advice in describing their decision to call the police.

The email describes the decision to call the police as something between herself and Raffaele, after she had tried to see through Meredith’s window, and after Raffaele had tried to break down Meredith’s door.

But in the ten minutes before Raffaele calls his sister (an officer in the carabinieri), Raffaele has received a call from his father (at 12:40:03) and Amanda has made a call to her mother (at 12:47:23) ““ neither of which calls is mentioned in the email.

Raffaele’s sister gives him the same advice that Edda Mellas gave Amanda: hang up and call the cops.

6. How can the tour of the cottage and the arrivals of first Marco and Luca, and then of Filomena and Paola, all take place between 12:55 and 13:00?

Raffaele makes the successful emergency call (lasting nearly a minute) at 12:54:39.

Meredith’s UK phone is activated at Police HQ at 13:00 ““ as part of a conversation which the postal police at the cottage are having about that phone with staff at HQ.

This conversation mentions Filomena’s arrival, and the information she’s given them about it being a UK phone.

This means that we need to fit the following activities into those five minutes, if Amanda’s email is to be believed:

  • The postal police arrive later than 12:55

  • Amanda and Raffaele give them a tour of the cottage, including the suspected break-in and the bloodstains in the bathroom

  • Amanda writes down Meredith’s phone numbers for them, on a post-it note which Luca Altieri notices on the kitchen table when he arrives

  • Marco and Luca arrive (and they see the post-it note) and have a conversation with the police about the ownership of the phones

  • A few minutes later, Filomena and Paola Grande arrive. Filomena explains to the police about Meredith’s phones (one lent by Filomena, and the other a UK phone)

  • The postal police make contact with their HQ

  • During this call, Meredith’s phone is activated (at 13:00)

In addition, at some point, Paola sees Raffaele and Amanda emerging from Amanda’s bedroom ““ but it’s not clear whether this happened before or after 13:00. It could have been after.

But even if we move this emergence from the bedroom to after 1300, there simply isn’t enough time for all those other activities to take place in a period of less than five minutes.

4. Second scenario: police a/c basically accurate,  Amanda Knox a/cs essentially untrue

Let us take the opposite scenario, and assume that the police are basically correct, and that Amanda Knox’s email is basically incorrect.

This then provides us with answers to those puzzles above, and also fills in some of the gaps that were otherwise missing from the timeline.

We also find that this new timeline is supported by evidence from other witnesses.

1. Where was Amanda at 12:08?

Amanda was at the cottage, and so was Raffaele.

Amanda was not telling the truth when she said she was going to fetch Raffaele ““ since Raffaele was in the room with her when she made the call.

This matches with the versions of both Filomena and Raffaele, who both believed that the call was made from the cottage.

2. Why didn’t Amanda call Raffaele?

Amanda never called Raffaele that morning because they were with each other the whole time ““ just as they continued to be with each other every moment until their arrest (except when separated for interrogations).

3. Why did Amanda stop calling Meredith’s phones?

Amanda called from the cottage in the first place, so there is no longer a question of why she called Meredith only from Raffaele’s apartment.

Also, she allowed the phone to ring only for three or four seconds because she knew that Meredith would not (and could not) pick up ““ she knew Meredith was dead.

The purpose of making these calls was simply for them to appear on her own cellphone record, to help construct an attempted alibi.

4. Why didn’t Amanda call Filomena back?

This question can be answered if we accept the hypothesis that Amanda’s intention was for Meredith’s body to be discovered by Filomena and/or Filomena’s friends.

When the police found the couple outside the property “waiting”, they were really waiting for the one living person that they had called that morning ““ Filomena.

Amanda ignores the calls at 12:12 and 12:20 because she wants Filomena to arrive at the cottage and to be the one who makes the “discoveries” of the break-in, and the locked bedroom.

So that when Filomena arrived at the cottage, Amanda and Raffaele (at the front of the house) could have said, “Oh, we decided to wait for you. Let’s go in together.”

However, Amanda answers Filomena’s 12:34 call because the police are already at the cottage and have already discovered the alleged break-in.

So now Amanda needs Filomena to arrive as quickly as possible ““ and at this point she tells Filomena about the break-in and the locked door.

Unfortunately for Amanda, however, Filomena decides to call Marco and get himself and Luca to go there first ““ knowing that they will be able to reach the cottage much more quickly.

Amanda tries to delay the breaking open of the room by telling the police, and by telling Luca, that it’s normal for Meredith to lock her own door.

She does this because, when it comes to the breaking down of the door, they want the others to be the first ones on the scene - and we can see that when the door is broken down for real, Amanda and Raffaele withdraw to the kitchen.

Unfortunately for Amanda, however, she can’t resist boasting later to Meredith’s English friends that she herself was the first on the scene.

5. Why doesn’t Amanda mention that she called her mother in Seattle?

Amanda’s email is essentially fictional.

The police arrived around 12:30, which is when they said, and this is corroborated by the CCTV evidence from the car park (timed at 12:25).

So the police have been in the cottage for about a quarter of an hour when Amanda calls her mother.

Amanda is first called away from the police to answer Filomena’s 12:34 call, just as Raffaele is called away a few minutes later to answer a call from his father at 12:40.

However, it is not until the arrival of Marco and Luca that they are able to escape to the privacy of Amanda’s bedroom, where they make the phone calls first to Amanda’s mother, then to Raffaele’s sister, and then the two calls to the police.

Notice that Edda and Raffaele’s sister both give the same advice: Hang up and call the police. And that’s exactly what they do, in fact.

However, in trying to create a fictional backdrop for making the emergency calls, Amanda forgets that she’s already called her mother.

Now she tries to explain that she and Raffaele called the police because of their panic over the locked room ““ panic which seems not to exist when Amanda is telling Luca that Meredith usually locks her door.

(Notice that in this version, we don’t need to believe that nobody can understand what Amanda says.)

After making these calls, Amanda and Raffaele emerge from the bedroom, as described by Paola Grande.

Paola’s memory of arriving at the cottage just before one is supported by the activation of Meredith’s cellphone at 1300.

6. How can the tour of the cottage and the arrivals of first Marco and Luca, and then of Filomena and Paola, all take place between 12:55 and 13:00?

It doesn’t. The tour of the cottage takes a more realistic fifteen minutes (roughly 12:30 to 12:45).

The police spend ten minutes talking to Luca and Marco about the phones, and about the suspected break-in, and so on (roughly 12:46 to 12:55), while they await the arrival of Filomena and Paola.

The girls arrive shortly before one, as the girls said, and as the phone records support, and explain the situation of the phones to the police (roughly 12:56 to 13:00).

There follows another fifteen minute examination of the house, culminating in the breaking down of the door by Luca Altieri at 13:15.

5. The Bottom Line

This second version may or may not be accurate, but at least it is supported by external evidence, not contradicted by it.

It is easy to see why Judge Micheli’s report found that the cellphone records do not support Raffaele Sollecito’s claim to have called the flying squad before the postal police arrived.

It is also easy to see why these timings undermine other stories told by the two defendants ““ such as Amanda’s December 2007 claim that she thought the postal police were in fact the police that Raffaele had just called.

Such a claim is absurd, given that Battistelli contacts HQ with a status report less than five minutes after Raffaele’s 112 call was made.

The bottom line is that this does not look promising for Amanda Knox.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trial: Did Someone Prevent Meredith Calling Home On The Night?

Posted by Peter Quennell


“The British student Meredith Kercher may have tried to telephone her mother in a last cry for help before she was overpowered and stabbed to death in Perugia in central Italy.”

This story on one of Meredith;s last actions out of the courtroom yesterday is being very widely picked up around the world. Click above for John Follain’s report.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Trial: Report From The Courtroom On Vodaphone Testimony

Posted by stewarthome2000



[above: a defendant-mobile entering Cappanne Prison]

It was a technical day in court, mostly devoted to confirming events and facts that we the public have already known about for a while. The court heard from the Vodaphone engineers, the communications investigator from Rome, and the Perugia homicide squad.

The Vodaphone engineers illustrated that cell phone uses cell points to connect, and those cell points cover certain areas. As you move about, your phone gets switched from tower to tower depending on your location, choosing the best signal for it. Many times, signals from cell points overlap, so one area can be serviced by three or more towers, and if one is blocked or congested the other processes the call.

Why all the background? Because they were setting the stage to show that Sollecito’s cell phone having no traffic from 8:42pm till 6:02am on the night of the murder was not due to him being unable to get a signal at his home. His neighborhood is well covered with cell areas, so most likely the phone was turned off and then turned back on again.

The engineers essentially proved that his phone was, beyond reasonable doubt, turned off from sometime after 8:42pm and turned on at 6:02am. At 6:02am he finally received a sms text that his dad sent the night before around 11:15pm, which had been undeliverable while the phone was switched off.

This was shown to be unusual behavior for him, because throughout the entire month of October he never once tuned his mobile phone off so early (nearly every night it was on till around 11 or midnight or later) or ever once turned it on so early - usually he turned back on well after 9, 10 or even 11am. So they showed not only that this behavior was unusual and unprecedented for him”¦ but that it happened to be on the night that Meredith was murdered.

It was also shown that Sollecito on the day of the 2nd topped up his phone with more credit, around 12:20pm, and then called his sister at 12:50pm, and the carabinieri at 12:51pm (connection failed) and then again at 12:55pm. Thereafter, he and his dad exchanged a number of calls, up until he arrived at the police station in the late afternoon.

Knox’s phone was shown to confirm on the night of the murder the exchange of sms messages with Patrick Lumumba, where Patrick sent a message to AK at 8:18pm (in effect “no need to come to work”) and she responded with the message at 8:35pm “ci vediamo piu tardi, buona serata” (“we will see each other later, good evening”).

The police right after the crime thought that might be evidence against Patrick, but I see where the mix-up comes from, because “pui tardi” is almost exclusively used when you plan to see someone later that day or in a few hours. She should have said “ci vediamo presto” which means “soon” or just “ci vediamo”. The way she wrote it, any Italian would think it meant in a few hours or very soon thereafter.

It was confirmed that the last communication from Knox’s phone on the night of the murder was at 8:35pm. Then there was nothing untill the next morning, when she tried to call Meredith’s UK cellphone at 12:07pm. Then she called Filomena, then Meredith’s Italian phone, and then she called home to Seattle a number of times.

The police also showed that Raffaele’s fixed line at his house showed no activity between 12:02pm on the 1st and 2:16pm on the 3rd. So much for activity on his land line or internet.

One interesting fact to emerge was that the eye witness who is saying he saw the three of them together the night of the murder had his mobile phone traced as well. It was shown to be in the Assisi area till the late afternoon on the 1st and then it entered the cell area of Via della Pergola at 8:01pm. So he was in fact in that part of the city on that evening. The prosecution made a request to note that fact.

They also showed, with a dispute from Sollecito’s lawyer Buongiorno, that Meredith’s cell phone made a call (not a phone call but a GPS call attempt) at I believe around 10:15pm, and that the call was made from the area where the phones were found the next day as it involved a different cell tower than those covering Via della Pergola.

So most likely the phone was in the possession of the killer and right then already on its way to the garden in Via Sperandio. So Meredith was most likely killed just before that time. This cell point analysis was done during the day and in a limited area, so this finding was disputed by the defense.

Finally, the homicide squad covered more ground.  They testified that Sollecito’s ASUS computer was already broken before they collected it for testing. They also indicated that they had been monitoring the phone activity and calls of everyone concerned for some time after the murder, including those of Raffaele’s dad. He had made a number of calls, to some of his political connections, to journalists, to legal counsel, to Panorama Magazine, and so on.

They also described the crime scene, and who precisely went in, and who was found at the scene, and who sequestered the knife at Sollecito’s home. One inspector initially claimed that Sollecito’s place smelled like bleach. Buongiorno attacked this, and he changed it to, okay, it smelled as if it had been cleaned with soap.

Overall, the testimony today mainly confirmed in precise and suggestive scientific detail much of what had been in the public area about the communications for some time.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Trial: ABC News Report: Experts Remark On Very Odd Phone Patterns

Posted by Peter Quennell


In another objective report for ABC News, Rome-based reporter Ann Wise adds the following details.

Sollecito was particularly cheerful today…. as the 10th hearing of the trial concentrated on phone records.

Sollecito has always maintained that he was home in his apartment the night of the murder and initially told police his father had called him at home around 11 p.m.

Phone records later showed that he received no such call.,,,

Police investigator Letterio Latella testified today that Knox and Sollecito’s cell phones were inactive most of the night, and activity on the cell phones stopped almost simultaneously….

Latella said that he did not find any evidence of a similar “blackout” of Knox and Sollecito’s phones in the month preceding the murder.

Normally, investigators have said, both Knox and Sollecito’s phones were on until late at night and would come back on in the late morning.


Trial: Testimony On Mobile Phones, Suspicious Silence At Just The Wrong Time

Posted by Peter Quennell


Expert testimony essentially did not depart from the narrative in particular set out by Judge Micheli.

He was the judge who committed Knox and Sollecito to trial. For the full report by Alessandra Rizzo of AP click above. 

1) On the switching off and on of the mobile phones:

The cell phones of two defendants in the murder of a British student killed in Italy remained inactive the night of the murder, witnesses testified Friday.

Investigators say having their cell phones turned off made their whereabouts untraceable. Defense lawyers contend that the cell phone data were inconclusive….

Police inspector Letterio Latella, who analyzed the data, said Knox’s and Sollecito’s cell phones showed no activity on the night of the crime. His testimony confirmed previous witness accounts and provided details of the cell phones’ traffic.

In lengthy testimony supported by PowerPoint slides, Latella said Sollecito’s cell phone remained inactive between 8:42 p.m. of Nov. 1 and 6:02 a.m. of Nov. 2, when he received a text message from his father.

Latella suggested that the cell phone had been turned off because the text message had been sent the night before. He said there were no reported glitches in the network that night, and that other cell phones active in the area appeared to function properly.

Knox’s cell phone was inactive between 8:35 p.m. of Nov. 1 and 12:07 p.m. of Nov. 2, according to Latella, who studied documents provided by the phone operators. At 12:07 p.m., Knox’s called Kercher’s British number….

2) On Knox’s text exchange on the night of the murder with Patrick Lumumba

Phone records showed [Knox] exchanged text messages with the Congolese owner of a pub where she used to work part-time, Latella and other witnesses said.

The messages Knox sent at 8:35 p.m. to the man, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, said: “Sure. See you later. Have a good night!” said Simone Tacconi of the telecommunications branch of Rome police. The message was written in Italian.

Lumumba was detained for two weeks in November 2007 after he was implicated by Knox. He has since been cleared and is seeking defamation damages from Knox.


Trial: Proceedings Resume, The Agenda For Friday And Saturday Is 11 Witnesses

Posted by Peter Quennell


Eleven witnesses are scheduled - and they are probably about to provide some really dramatic testimony.

On Friday, the police experts who analysed the locations and activities of the phones relevant to the case will take the stand. The phones in question include Meredith’s two mobile phones (one of which was in Filomena’s name) which may have been removed from the house to prevent Meredith from calling for help as she lay dying.

They were both tossed into a garden very close to Sollecito’s and Guede’s places. The finding and reporting of one of the phones resulted in the Communication Police visiting Meredith’s house, where they have testified they found Knox and Sollecito outside apparently quite startled, with a mop and a bucket and the washing machine still running just inside.

One issue is whether anyone tried to use one of Meredith’s phones to communicate deliberately with Meredith’s password-protected bank account in the UK. Her rent money of course disappeared at the time of the murder, and Guede, Sollecito and Knox may all have been low on funds.

There should be confirmation that Sollecito’s father called Sollecito on his apartment’s land-line very late on the evening of the crime. His call went unresponded-to, perhaps because nobody was home at the time.

And there should be confirmation that Sollecito’s and Knox’s mobiles were turned off more or less simultaneously at Sollecito’s house less than an hour before the crime against Meredith took place, and that at least one of them was switched back on before daybreak the next morning, at a time when Knox and Sollecito have both claimed to have been asleep. 

On Saturday, the manager of the Conad supermarket in lower Via Garibaldi (in Sollecito’s street, and about 200 meters from Meredith’s house) will give testimony on whether Knox was seen in the supermarket early on the morning after the crime, and whether any bleach was sold. His previous statement included this:

I saw Amanda, on the morning they found the body of Meredith, doing some shopping at around 7.45am,” the witness, whose name has not yet been released, claimed.

“She was in the part of the shop where they keep detergents, but I couldn’t say for sure if she bought anything,” the man was quoted as saying by the Giornale dell’Umbria newspaper.

“I thought it was very strange for a student to be out so early in the morning. That morning was virtually a holiday, there were no lectures, if there had been I could understand her being up so early.”

Also on Saturday, the boyfriend of Alessandra Formica who apparently saw a black man similar to Guede running up the stairs near the house will testify. He and his girlfriend are often referred to as the diners, and they were returning to their parked car at the time. This could be vital to a firm timeline.

And also on Saturday the man sitting on a bench in the Piazza Grimana, from which the gate of Meredith’s house can easily be seen, is expected to testify that Knox and Sollecito came and sat nearby, late in the evening, and seemed to be keeping an anxious eye on that gate.

The timing of that action appears to be just minutes after a neighbor whose apartment looks onto the house heard a terrible scream and then footsteps running from the house in several directions.

Knox’s stepfather Chris Mellas is expected to again be present. He doesn’t speak Italian. Nevertheless, his spin on the above is awaited with great interest.


Friday, February 27, 2009

Trial: Lot Of Evidence Introduced In First Pass In Afternoon Session

Posted by Peter Quennell


This was testimony from the crime-scene investigators who searched Meredith’s and Sollecito’s apartments on the day after the crime.

The UK press and the Associated Press (the main source for reports in American media) have not yet updated their stories beyond those linked-to below.

But the Italian press is reporting testimony from the officers who found the knife in Sollecito’s apartment which may have Knox’s and Meredith’s DNA on it (see Nicki’s post Monday on the knife and other DNA below).

Also there was testimony on the phone records which seems to indicate Knox’s and Sollecito’s mobile phones were turned off almost together around mid-evening on the night of the murder. There is a record of Sollecito’s being turned on again at daybreak the next morning, but apparently no record of when Knox’s phone was turned back on.

Also introduced this afternoon was the first of the testimony on the finding of Meredith on the floor of her bedroom (see Brian’s post Wednesday on this sad and apparently very telling scene).

There was crime-scene-officer testimony also on the finding of the large rock in Filomena’s bedroom. The defenses are reported to have put on a spirited show here, and to have again argued the possibility that an intruder could have got in via Filomena’s window.

Crime scene officers testified that a ready-made much-easier break-in route existed, by way of the balcony and the windows and balcony door out back.

On Sunday, our poster Kermit will be putting up new Powerpoints showing why this route is so viable. And again but even more-so how absurd Filomena’s window looks as a preferred point-of-entry.


Trial: Nick Pisa Of On-The-Ball Sky News Reports Early Testimony

Posted by Peter Quennell

Hmmm. Many officers testifying = weakness of the case? That seems a stretch.

And in the accompanying article on Sky News, Nick Pisa reports one officer’s testimony.

Mr Profazio, who now leads the narcotics division in Rome, told the court how he had been on holiday at the time of the murder, but immediately returned to work.

“I was away when I had a phone call from colleagues telling me that there had been a terrible murder. The body of an English girl had been found with her throat cut,” he said.

“I immediately headed back to Perugia and got to the scene at the same time as the forensic officers from Rome.

“A window was pointed out to me, which was broken and which was said to have been the point of entry, but I thought it was strange as it would have needed a superhuman effort to climb up to it.

“I noticed that there was a much easier way into the house at the back, via a terrace and a boiler, there was a chair and table on the terrace and it would have been a lot easier to get in this way.”

He also told the court how both Knox and Sollecito’s mobile phones had been switched off “practically at the same time” between 8.00pm and 8.30pm the night of the murder.

Mr Profazio also told the court that a search of Sollecito’s house had discovered a 30cm kitchen knife which was given to forensic experts for examination.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Trial: Friday Morning, More Testimony From Meredith’s Sad Friends

Posted by Peter Quennell

Click above for the first report by Richard Owen.

Ms Knox had spoken to someone on her mobile phone while at the police station, claiming that she had found the body, Ms Butterworth said. Ms Knox said: “How do you think I feel? I was the first to find her, it could have been me.”

Ms Knox had described the crime scene, saying that Ms Kercher’s body was “in the closet with a blanket over her. I would say wardrobe, I wouldn’t say closet, that’s why I remember it. When I went home I wrote the word down.”

 

 

 

 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/13/09 at 04:17 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesCellphone activityComments here (2)

Friday, February 06, 2009

Trial: Friday Morning Not A Good Start For The Knox Team

Posted by Peter Quennell


Click above for The Times’ report by Richard Owen. The main highlights:

1) Knox’s written admission that she was present at the murder is admitted.

The American accused of murdering British student Meredith Kercher suffered a setback today after a judge ruled that her confession to being at the scene of the crime could stand as evidence.

The statement Ms Knox was trying to keep from the court contains the same testimony as a controversial “confession” she made to police four days after the murder. In it she admitted to having been at the cottage the night Ms Kercher was killed. She said that she had covered her ears so as not to hear her flatmate’s screams and accused Patrick Diya Lumumba, a Congolese bar owner in Perugia, of being the murderer…

Despite the Supreme Court ruling, the judge in today’s trial decided that a memorandum Ms Knox had later written in English was admissible because it had been given voluntarily. It could be heard in the defamation case brought by Mr Lumumba against Ms Knox and which is being heard at the same time as the criminal trial.

2) Raffaele Solllecito may be opening up some space for himself here.

Mr Sollecito was granted permission to address the court, and said that he was “the victim of injustice” and “would never hurt a fly”. He said that he found himself in a “completely surreal and totally strange” situation since he was “not in any away involved” in the murder of Ms Kercher, adding: ” I am not a violent man.”

He said that his “sentimental relationship” with Ms Knox had only begun in September 2007 and stressed that he did not know Guede: “I never met him.” There had been a “lot of confusion” in the case, he said, and he appealed to the court to “clear it up”.

Added: Nick Pisa of the Daily Mail has noted: “As Sollecito gave his speech, Knox looked on clearly worried and biting her nails”

3) When police arrived the defendants seemed “surprised and embarrassed”

Mr Bartolozzi said that he had despatched a team of officers to the cottage, where they had found Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito already there. The officers had phoned him to report that Ms Kercher’s bedroom door was locked and he authorised the officers to break it down. Inside they found Ms Kercher’s body….

Michele Battistelli, one of the officers, said that he reached the cottage “after midday, at around half past twelve”. He found Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito at the house, and they appeared “surprised and embarrassed” at the arrival of the police.

They are accused of breaking a window to fake a break in. Mr Sollecito claims that he had already telephoned the Carabinieri, but the prosecution says that he only did so after the postal police turned up.

Police testimony on the finding of the two dumped cellphones was also heard. One was traced to Filomena Romanelli who later told police she had lent the phone to Meredith.The second phone was owned by Meredith.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/06/09 at 04:30 PM • Permalink for this post • Archived in Evidence & WitnessesCellphone activityTrials 2008 & 2009Comments here (9)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Judge Micheli’s First Statement - The 10,000 Pages Start To Talk EDIT

Posted by Peter Quennell

Here now is the full 2011 Micheli Report kindly translated by Catnip for the Wiki and TJMK.

Judge Micheli’s dossier.

This below is from London’s Daily Telegraph. Click above for the full story.

In a dossier on the high-profile case, Judge Paolo Micheli said the 21 year-old’s murder was more likely spontaneous rather than pre-planned.

The judge, however, appears to agree with prosecution claims that the Leeds University student was murdered by more than one person.

He said that footprints in the flat showed there was more than one attacker in Miss Kercher’s flat on the night she was killed.

The revelations came after the Italian judge rejected one of her accused killer’s applications for bail…

Judge Micheli said he feared the two suspects could flee the country or commit another murder.

[Meredith’s] semi-naked body was found in the whitewashed cottage she shared with Miss Knox and two other students on November 2 last year.

She had been stabbed in the neck three times, and sustained more than 40 other injuries.

The judge attached weight to a kitchen knife found in Mr Sollecito’s flat which allegedly carried traces of Miss Knox’s DNA on the handle and Miss Kercher’s DNA on the blade.

He also said there were inconsistencies in Mr Sollecito’s accounts of where he was that night.

Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini told the court last week that Miss Kercher was killed when all three suspects tried to force her to participate in “a perverse group sex game”.

Judge Paolo Micheli has a terrific reputation as a judge, He did not of course devote only last Tuesday to reviewing the case.  That has been a full-time job for him for several months now. In particular, he will have read the 10,000 pages of evidence the police and prosecutor have submitted. Almost certainly again and again.

The partial evidence already out here is pretty telling to those who have worked so hard to put it all together.  And the 30-year sentence Judge Micheli handed down to Rudy Guede on Tuesday suggests just how overwhelming the full body of evidence must be. How it must really hang together.

And how it must evoke the intense agony of the final moments of Meredith Kercher, as she was seemingly tortured to death amid laughter and taunts. What is actually in those 10,000 pages will soon be common knowledge, by way of both the Knox/Sollecito trial in December and the Guede appeal thereafter.

Tick tick tick..


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sollecito Team Turns Sharply Against Knox? This Is Extraordinary, A Really Big Deal

Posted by The TJMK Main Posters




Breaking News In London Times

A report says Sollecito places Knox at the scene of the crime.

As she had herself as well, twice, in the evening before her arrest. Still, a surprise move coming so soon after this truce.

The report, by Richard Owen from Perugia for the UK Times went online on the Times website three hours ago.

It also confirms what case-watchers already know; that tomorrow, Tuesday, is quite a cliff-hanger for the third defendant, Rudy Guede, who may be convicted and possibly sentenced right there and then.

Amanda Knox, the American flatmate of the murdered British student Meredith Kercher, has for the first time been implicated as being at the scene of the crime by her former Italian boyfriend.

With a verdict imminent in the pre-trial hearings over the murder in Perugia almost a year ago, the three suspects in the case appear to have turned on each other.

After the conclusion of the hearings, Judge Paolo Micheli, 44, a former Carabinieri officer who has been a magistrate since 1990, will decide tomorrow whether Ms Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her former boyfriend, should stand trial for the murder.

At the same time, he is also due to convict or clear Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast immigrant who is accused by prosecutors of taking part in the killing, but who has opted for a fast track trial in the hope of a reduced sentence if found guilty.

Lawyers for Mr Sollecito have told the judge that, according to a forensic expert called by the defence, Ms Knox’s DNA is on Ms Kercher’s bloodied bra-strap as well as that of Mr Sollecito and Rudy Guede.

Professor Francesco Vinci, the forensic scientist, said the DNA traces were “too contaminated” to be useable as evidence, but showed the presence of “at least three people”.

The admission appears to support the prosecution case that all three were present at the scene of the crime.

It also breaks a [recent] tacit pact between Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, who have sent each other supportive letters while in custody and until now have avoided incriminating each other. Mr Sollecito even sent Ms Knox flowers on her birthday this summer.

Lawyers for both Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox have repeatedly claimed the couple spent the night of the murder at Mr Sollecito’s flat, indicating that Mr Guede was the lone killer.

Today, the prosecution and defence lawyers will present their closing arguments. They will argue that if a trial date is set, the suspects should be released from prison into house arrest. Ms Knox has asked to be housed at San Fatucchio, a supervised community and farm in the Umbrian countryside, 40 kilometres from Perugia, for recovering drug addicts and young offenders run by the Catholic charity Caritas.

Last weekend Walter Biscotti, one of Mr Guede’s lawyers, accused Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito of framing his client, a drifter and small-time drug dealer who was brought up in Perugia and mingled with the student community. “We believe Knox and Sollecito were the murderers,” Nicodemo Gentile, another of Mr Guede’s lawyers said.

Mr Biscotti said Mr Guede, the only one of the three who admits he was at the hillside cottage Ms Knox shared with Ms Kercher on the evening of the murder, admitted attempting to have consensual sex with Ms Kercher, but had not raped or killed her. The prosecution says that Mr Guede’s DNA was on Ms Kercher’s bloodstained pillow.

Ms Kercher was found last November semi-naked in her bedroom with her throat cut. The prosecution claims she was assaulted just after Hallo’een in a murderous sex game, possibly inspired by a Japanese comic strip about vampires which Mr Sollecito had been reading.

Prosecutors say that Ms Knox stabbed her flatmate while the other two forced her to her knees and held her down, with Mr Sollecito pinning her by the arms and Mr Guede holding her by the throat.

Ms Knox’s lawyers reject this, saying Ms Kercher was assaulted by “one robust killer”. Last week, Ms Knox burst into tears when the allegation was made in court that she stabbed Ms Kercher, saying: “Meredith was my friend, I had no reason to kill her.”

Mr Guede claims he was listening to his iPod in the bathroom when Ms Kercher was killed in the bedroom. He fled to Germany after the killing, but was tracked down three weeks later in Germany.

Mr Sollecito’s defence team, headed by Giulia Bongiorno, a high profile lawyer and parliamentary deputy, brought props including a shop window mannequin wearing a bra into court last week to back their case. They claim “a thief”, who they suggest was Mr Guede, smashed a window to enter the cottage and killed Ms Kercher when she returned and recognised him, fleeing with her two mobile phones.

Ms Bongiorno argued that the presence of Mr Sollecito’s DNA on the bra fastener but not the rest of the garment proved it was due to contamination and mishandling by police forensic scientists.

Hmmm. Perhaps Rudy Guede should back out of the short-form trial (where the chips are loaded against him but the sentence is guaranteed shorter) and go for the long-form trial instead?

Oh, and better send more flowers, Raffaelle. She is going to be ticked at this one.


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