The murder of Meredith Kercher occurred in Perugia, Italy, on 1 November 2007. Kercher, aged 21 at the time of her death, was a British university exchange student from Coulsdon, South London. She shared an upstairs flat with three other young women. She was sexually assaulted and stabbed, and property belonging to her was stolen.
Rudy Guede, a resident of Perugia, was convicted on 28 October 2008 of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher. His fast-track conviction was upheld, and he is now serving a reduced sentence of 16 years. Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian student, and Amanda Knox, an American student and a flatmate of Kercher, were convicted of sexual assault and murder in a separate trial on 4 December 2009. They were given sentences of 25 and 26 years respectively. Knox and Sollecito have appealed. Their appeal commenced in December 2010 and is scheduled to end in late 2011.
The case has received much media attention in Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. It has been widely described as controversial, with questions raised over the validity of the convictions, coverage in the news media and the conduct of the police investigation and prosecutor.