Amanda Knox supporters gather, await verdict

By MANUEL VALDES | October 3, 2011 | 8:50 AM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — An emotional group of Amanda Knox supporters has come together in a downtown hotel to watch as the Seattle native seeks exoneration from an Italian court in the 2007 death of her British roommate.

The assembly watched as Knox on Monday defended her innocence against accusations that she and her former boyfriend killed Meredith Kercher in what a court has described as a drug-fueled sex assault.

The group began gathering late Sunday, planning to stay up overnight to view the court proceedings and await the verdict, which is expected early afternoon Monday local time.

Knox, who has been in prison for four years, fought back tears as she addressed the appeals court, minutes before the jury went into deliberations to decide whether to uphold her murder conviction.

Knox's supporters clapped as she finished her plea.