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After Italian ruling, Amanda Knox says she's 'frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict'

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SEATTLE - Amanda Knox was in her hometown of Seattle when she received the news Thursday that an Italian appeals court upheld the guilty verdict against her and her ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of her British roommate.

David Marriott, a spokesman for Knox's family, said Knox awaited the ruling at her mother's home. After the decision was announced, a person believed to be Knox emerged from the house. That person, surrounded by others and covered by a coat, got into a vehicle and was driven away.

When asked how Knox was doing, her mother, Edda Mellas, said: "She's upset. How would you be?"

Knox said in a written statement that she was "frightened and saddened," she "expected better from the Italian justice system," and "this has gotten out of hand."

The University of Washington student was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the spectre of a long legal battle over her extradition.

Now 26 years old, she remained in Seattle during the trial with no intention of returning to Italy. Knox said she and her family "have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution."

The court reinstated a guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. The verdict was overturned in 2011, but Italy's supreme court vacated that decision and sent the case back for a third trial in Florence.

In her statement, Knox acknowledged the family of Meredith Kercher, her roommate in Italy.

"First and foremost it must be recognized that there is no consolation for the Kercher family. Their grief over Meredith's terrible murder will follow them forever. They deserve respect and support," she said.

She implored officials in Italy to fix problems with the justice system, and she blamed overzealous prosecutors and a "prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation" for what she called a perversion of justice and wrongful conviction.

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