As this month's final trial of Amanda Knox fast approaches, the woman accused of a 2007 murder involving her former boyfriend and her British roommate is now flaunting her new engagement to New York rocker Colin Sutherland.
Sutherland and Knox have been friends since middle school in Seattle, but it wasn't until recently that the two reconnected. It's said that Sutherland kept in contact with Knox while she was in jail during her first conviction (which was then overthrown), and the recent engagement of the two has been labeled as everything from a publicity stunt to a final plea for Knox to let go of 2007.
Knox and Sutherland, both 27, face potential married life in two very different directions: with a sense of normalcy, or through the visitation room in an Italian prison.
The Seattle Times' Jonathan Martin sat down with Knox to discuss the engagement and her current state of mind as the March 25 appeal trial quickly nears. "I met Knox for coffee late last year at a West Seattle café, on her condition it would be off-the-record," Martin writes. "She'd recently graduated from the University of Washington, finishing the degree interrupted by her four years in prison, and had begun writing for the West Seattle Herald. She works at a bookstore."
But Knox's life is anything but normal. She has been allowed to return to the United States and work as part of Italy's innocent-until-proven guilty laws that are a bit more lenient than those of the States, but if her latest appeal is overturned and she gets sentenced, she may be extradited back to Italy. The problem is, who's going to extradite her?
According to Oxford University's Cherif Bassiouni, "Amanda Knox would not be extraditable to Italy should Italy seek her extradition because she was retried for the same acts, the same facts, and the same conduct. Her case was reviewed three times with different outcomes even though she was not actually tried three times. In light of the jurisprudence of the various circuits on this issue, it is unlikely that extradition would be granted."
So, in other words, it's a safe bet that, even if Knox's appeal is denied, she could remain in the United States and enjoy a happy life with Sutherland afterall. The couple is still young and a normal family life is not out of the question.
As Martin explains, "It is a highly circumstantial case, with DNA evidence so thin that Knox probably wouldn't have even been charged in the United States. The prosecutions shifting theories reflect the fact that Knox had no motive. She might be America's most famous wrongfully convicted person."
Her fiancé is a musician who grew up in Seattle but has enjoyed success in New York City with his band, The Johnny Pumps. The group 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 also enjoys a more ghoulish side of life as he travels with his ghost-story-telling group, The Haunted Life. The band plans to travels the country playing music and telling scary stories with scheduled stops so far in Ohio and Kentucky.
Former boyfriend and fellow accused, Raffaele Sollecito, says that he was unaware of Knox's recent engagement but says he is "happy for her."