The twice-convicted murderer who fled Italy for her native Seattle is engaged to a musician. Will marriage keep her from being extradited to Italy?
ROME — It might seem perilous to marry a woman who has been convicted of murder, but Colin Sutherland, a 27-year-old musician, is willing to take that risk. According to The Seattle Times Editor Jonathan Martin, Sutherland and Amanda Marie Knox will be tying the knot in the near future. The engagement announcement apparently couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day.
Knox, 27, was convicted, acquitted, and then re-convicted of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, along with her erstwhile Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. (Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast native, was convicted separately.) Kercher, a 22-year-old British Erasmus student, shared an apartment with Knox when she was murdered in her bedroom. Knox originally pinned the crime on her Congolese boss. Knox and Sollecito served more than four years in prison after their arrest and were released on appeal in 2011. Knox returned to the United States, and Sollecito remains in Italy where he is studying robotic surgery, according to his résumé online. Both Knox and Sollecito have written memoirs about their experience.
Knox’s nuptials come at a curious time considering Italy’s high court will rule definitively on their latest conviction on March 25. The court will either send the case back to trial or sign off on the conviction, which would pave the way for Knox to be extradited to Italy to serve her 28-year, six-month prison term. Sollecito has petitioned the court to be retried separately. He faces a 25-year prison term. Guede, who has served more than seven years of his 19 year prison term so far, is eligible for work release, though he has not yet applied to exercise that right.
Because Knox’s husband-to-be is American, she will not be winning any favors for her extradition case by being married. Italy and the U.S. have a valid and tested extradition treaty, in which marital status has no role. If she were to be pregnant, however, that could make a difference though no baby is known to be on the way.
The groom is a musician and the bride is a cub reporter for the West Seattle Herald newspaper. Last year the paper’s editor Patrick Robinson told The Daily Beast he wanted to give Knox a chance. “We approached her originally to give her the opportunity of a normal life,” Robinson said. “We simply asked her as we would ask anyone of that age and stage, if they would be interested in writing for us as a qualified writer of that scale and this level of journalism.”
According to Martin, who knows Knox personally, the soon-to-be newlyweds have known each other since middle school and recently started dating. Cumberland moved from New York to Seattle to be with his fiancé. “Her husband-to-be wrote her while she was in prison,” Martin wrote. “And now he has signed up to be stalked by paparazzi, British tabloids and Internet trolls. It must be love.”