Amanda Knox is facing possibly the final verdict in her ongoing trial for a 2007 murder next month, but it's her newly confirmed engagement to Seattle musician Colin Sutherland that's making news this week.
The 27-year-old Knox has known 27-year-old Sutherland since middle school, but the two reconnected only recently when the man moved back to Seattle from New York City.
Knox has been in the news since her first murder trial in 2009 where she was found guilty of murdering her former roommate, British national Meredith Kercher, in their Italian apartment in 2007. Knox and her alleged accomplice, then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, were accused of everything from participating in a sex-game-gone-wrong to some kind of satanic ritual with Kercher, but the varied evidence and testimonies have been the most confusing part of the whole process over the years.
Knox and Sollecito served four years of their sentence before an appeal set them free in 2011. From there, Knox went back to college, graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in creative writing, and set out to lead a normal life working as a reporter for the West Seattle Herald. But a follow-up conviction based on new evidence popped up in 2014, pinning the murder back on Knox who then filed another appeal.
If the appeal falls through next month, Knox could face up to 28 years in prison. But despite this, Colin Sutherland has been by Knox's side through it all. The man reported corresponded with Knox during her initial prison time in Italy, and has remained her friend even while she had been in another relationship upon her return to the U.S.
Knox confirmed the engagement to the Seattle Times' Jonathan Martin in an email after a family member disclosed the info, but Knox refused to provide further details. "Her husband-to-be wrote her while she was in prison, and now he has signed up to be stalked by paparazzi, British tabloids and Internet trolls. It must be love," Martin wrote.
Sutherland and Knox were engaged on February 3, Knox's father confirmed. Sutherland graduated in 2009 from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. His band, The Johnny Pumps, is based out of New York City and is described as a mix of rock, "impure metal, and it's cut with a punk edge that will make you want to dance."
Sutherland is also part of a ghost-story-telling group called The Haunted Life that travels the country telling haunted tales and playing music.
On March 25, Knox faces what could be her last appeal in Italian courts for the 2007 murder. If the appeal fails, she and Sollecito will face another trial in Italy, but Knox has already said that she won't return voluntarily. The real fight at that point may be extradicting Knox, which could be dragged out by the state of Washington and the Knox family.
But if the appeal is successful, Knox faces the potential for a semi-normal life with Sutherland. The two are still young, so that wouldn't be out of the question.