Written by Staff Writer, CNN London
If you talk to Rudy Guede about his conviction and subsequent six-year sentence for the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, the popular 25-year-old says, “it never even crossed my mind.”
Guede, who arrived at Rome’s Porta Nuova prison early on Friday following a five-year prison sentence that was subsequently reduced to a four-year sentence, did so to ensure he could attend the first two days of his release weekend before joining his girlfriend at a family gathering.
Meredith Kercher was murdered in October 2007, at the house she shared with Italian student Amanda Knox in Perugia, Italy.
The American Knox was also sentenced to 26 years in prison for her role in the killing but was eventually cleared of all charges in 2011. She was allowed to leave Italy with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who served four years of his sentence before his release in November 2015.
Prosecutors alleged that Guede, who was in the house with Knox at the time of the killing, raped, stabbed and slashed Kercher’s throat in a sex game gone wrong. But he never admitted any involvement in the crime and insisted that he was actually at work the entire time Kercher was being murdered.
Rudy Guede arriving at Porta Nuova prison in Rome on July 1, 2015. © Diario di Savoia
Now based in Portugal, he has said that he only discovered the murder scene as a result of taking some time to go through all of Knox’s personal items.
When approached in April 2011, he could not explain how he managed to remove both sets of Kercher’s underwear and found out that her neck had been slit only on examination later that evening.
“I know I did something wrong and I made a lot of mistakes, but I never really considered myself the one who killed Meredith,” he told CNN at the time.
However, Italian police maintains that Guede had given evidence incriminating himself to several interrogators throughout the course of the investigation.
Rudy Guede in court in October 2013, just a few months before his trial ended. He was sentenced to 26 years in prison for killing Kercher. ©Filippo Monteforte/Getty Images
He also testified at the trial that he had been charged with the crime for the first time when he was arrested after being found naked in Kercher’s bedroom in 2008. At the time, he had been staying with an Italian woman who was not part of the case.
He told police that his ex-girlfriend (now known as Amanda) had made him do it.
Guede has also insisted that the murder was an unplanned attempt to kill Kercher. He says that he was in the bedroom talking to his girlfriend when the two women were interrupted by a knock at the door.
“I opened the door to find Meredith screaming … I decided to try to talk her down but she stayed on her feet and I ended up stabbing her,” he said at the time.
He denies that he and Knox, who had been introduced during the same period, were having a sexual affair during the time of the killing.
He has since been involved in a personal dispute with Knox, who claims that he acted as an enforcer for a murder ring that targeted gay men and journalists.
Following the release of Knox and Sollecito on appeal in 2011, Guede was granted a retrial. The new sentence reduced his life sentence to a four-year sentence.
Following the annulment of the first trial in 2016, he was placed on a registry of eligible prisoners before being officially notified of his release on Saturday.
In a tweet posted on Saturday, Knox thanked the judiciary and Italian citizens for their support in a time of “hardship and sadness.”