PERUGIA, Italy (Reuters) - A 21-year-old American exchange student indicted in Italy for the murder of her British flatmate, Meredith Kercher, was denied house arrest on Wednesday by a judge who ruled she was too great a flight risk to release from jail.
Amanda Knox’s Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24, was also denied house arrest as the couple await trial, set to begin on December 4.
Sollecito’s lawyer said Judge Paolo Micheli feared the two suspects could flee the country or commit another murder.
Knox and Sollecito have been held in jail since shortly after the killing last November of 21-year-old student Kercher, whose semi-naked body was found in her apartment in the university city of Perugia in central Italy.
Prosecutors say Kercher was stabbed in the neck when Knox, Sollecito and a third suspect tried to involve her in an orgy. The case has riveted Italians and received wide cover in the media.
The third suspect, 21-year-old Rudy Guede, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Tuesday for rape and murder.
Guede, born in the Ivory Coast, had chosen a fast-track procedure with no jury, which under Italian law allows suspects to receive a lesser sentence if they are convicted. Prosecutors had requested life in prison.
All three suspects deny wrongdoing.
Writing by Phil Stewart; editing by Andrew Roche