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AMANDA KNOX IS FREE!


PERUGIA, Italy — A jury overturned the murder conviction of Amanda Knox… and now she’s heading to Knoxville with a recording contract.

Amanda Knox was acquitted of the murder conviction in the 2007 slaying of her roommate Meredith Kercher, and she was ordered immediately released from prison.

Knox collapsed in tears after the verdict was read .

Her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also found not guilty.

Knox and Sollecito’s slander convictions were upheld, but since those were three-year sentences they were considered time served.

Earlier Monday, a tearful Knox told the jury that she did not kill her British roommate, pleading for the court to free her so she can return to the United States after four years behind bars.

Knox frequently paused for breath and fought back tears as she spoke in Italian to the eight members of the jury in a packed courtroom, but managed to maintain her composure during the 10-minute address.

“I’m not a promiscuous vamp. I’m not violent … I have not killed, I have not raped, I was not there, I was not present,” the 24-year-old American told a packed courtroom in Perugia.

“I want to go home, I want to go back to my life, I do not want to be punished and to have my life taken away from me for something I have not done, because I am innocent.”

The eight-member jury weighed whether the 2009 convictions and prison sentences — 26 years for Knox, 25 years for Sollecito — should stand, be dismissed or altered.

Knox had been playing the guitar and singing in the holding cell while waiting for the verdict.  Several music industry executives had heard tapes of her singing and immediately offered her a record contract.

Knox is flying to Knoxville this evening to begin recording her first record, which will be a combination of Italian love songs and country standards.

“She’s going to be a big music star,” said Gregg Tobin, a Nashville record producer.

Knox has already agreed to star in her own reality series, Hard Knox and is working on a book deal.

Things happen fast in the free world.