FLORENCE, Italy, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Drugs and alcohol lowered inhibitions for the U.S. student and her boyfriend accused of killing a British student in Italy, the victim's family's lawyer said.
Vieri Fabiani told a Florence court Monday that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, accused in the slaying of British exchange student and Knox roommate Meredith Kercher, were in the throes of a "murderous rage" and the pair had "no inhibitions" because of drugs and alcohol taken before killing Kercher in 2007, ANSA reported.
Only later did "fear take over" for Knox and Sollecito, leading to lies and a false accusation against a bar owner in the university town of Perugia, where the killing occurred, Fabiani said.
Knox, who is in the United States and has not returned for this trial, and Sollecito each served two years in prison after a lower court convicted them of murder in 2009.
Italian prosecutors are seeking a 30-year prison term for Knox and 26 years in prison for Sollecito. The additional four years on Knox's sentence are for her allegedly slandering the bar owner whom she first implicated during police questioning before later retracting.
In 2009, Knox and Sollecito were found guilty in the death of Kercher, whom prosecutors said was killed in a sex game gone wrong. Their convictions were thrown out by an appeals court in 2011 but in March, Italy's top court quashed the acquittals and returned the case back to the appeal stage.
The new trial opened in Florence in September and a decision is expected Jan 10.