Italy frees man convicted of 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher

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FILE – Rudy Guede, left, is greeted by an unidentified person as he leaves the penitentiary for a temporary release of thirty-six hours, in Viterbo, Italy, on June 25, 2016. Guede, the only person convicted in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher has been freed after serving most of his 16-year prison sentence. Italian news agencies LaPresse and ANSA quoted attorney Fabrizio Ballarini as saying Rudy Guede’s planned Jan. 4 release had been moved up a few weeks by a judge and was freed on Tuesday.(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME (AP) — The only person convicted in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher was freed Tuesday after serving most of his 16-year prison sentence, his lawyer said.

Attorney Fabrizio Ballarini said Rudy Guede’s planned Jan. 4 release had been moved up a few weeks by a judge and he was freed on Tuesday. He will continue to work in the library at the Viterbo-based Center for Criminology Studies, Ballarini said in an email.

Guede had already been granted permission to leave prison during the day to work at the center while he served his sentence for the 2007 murder of 21-year-old Kercher.

The case in the university city of Perugia gained international notoriety after Kercher’s American roommate, Amanda Knox, and Knox’s then-boyfriend were placed under suspicion. Both were initially convicted, but Italy’s highest court threw out the convictions in 2015 after a series of flip-flop decisions.

Guede was originally convicted in a fast-track trial procedure. He has denied killing Kercher.

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