The killer convicted of Meredith Kercher’s murder in Italy is on the brink of completing his sentence 14 years after the British student’s death.
Rudy Guede, 34, is due to be formally released on January 4 but his lawyer today said he had a ‘good chance’ of shaving another 45 days off his 16-year jail term.
‘If he gets that, he is already a free man,’ Fabrizio Ballarini told The Times.
Guede was the only person convicted of killing 21-year-old Kercher in Perugia in November 2007 after the Briton’s American roommate Amanda Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were finally cleared in 2015.
Ivorian-born Guede was found guilty after his DNA was found on Kercher’s body despite his claims that he was in the bathroom listening to music when she was killed.
Rudy Guede, 34, is due to be formally released on January 4 but his lawyer today said he had a ‘good chance’ of shaving 45 days off the jail term in the next few days if the judge grants a further discount (pictured: Guede after a court hearing in Perugia September 16, 2008)
Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was killed just two months after moving to Italy for a study abroad programme at Perugia’s prestigious university (pictured: in an undated photo released in November 2007)
Amanda Knox appearing as a TV guest on ‘Good Morning America,’ Thursday, September 29, 2016
Guede is considered a model prisoner and has been living outside jail on probation in the town of Viterbo since last year after his sentence was reduced for good behaviour.
He is studying for a master’s in historical sciences at Roma Tre university and Ballarini has told judges of his ‘high level of social integration’ and ‘irreproachable conduct.’
Guede was first offered day release from Viterbo prison in 2017 and started working as a researcher and librarian at the Centre for Crime, Judicial and Sociological studies.
He lost an appeal to have his case overturned but has won the support of local activists who have helped him to reintegrate.
Guede even set up a chess tournament for the residents of Viterbo.
Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was killed just two months after moving to Italy for a study abroad programme at Perugia’s prestigious university.
Her body was found in her bedroom, partially undressed, with multiple stab wounds. She had also been sexually assaulted.
Guede’s fingerprints were found at the scene along with a palm print in blood belonging to him.
He admitted to having been at the apartment but has always denied killing or sexually assaulting Kercher.
Knox and Sollecito both spent four years in prison after their convictions. Knox was also convicted of defamation for wrongly accusing Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, of the murder. Pictured: Knox and Sollecito in 2007
Knox being escorted into court on September 26, 2008
He said he had gone into a ‘state of shock’ after finding her dead after he returned from the bathroom.
Following the murder, Guede fled by train to Germany where he was arrested days later.
He was charged with her murder and sexual assault and handed down a 30-year sentence, which was later cut to 16 years by an appeals court.
Knox and Sollecito both spent four years in prison after their convictions. Knox was also convicted of defamation for wrongly accusing Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, of the murder.
Guede pictured being escorted by Italian penitentiary police officers as he leaves Perugia’s court after a hearing on September 26, 2008
Lumumba spent two weeks in jail, only being released when someone came forward with an alibi.
Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 only to be convicted again in 2014 by a Florentine appeals court.
The appeals court ruled that the injuries inflicted on Kercher’s body could not have been inflicted by Guede alone.
However in 2015, Italy’s highest court overturned the decision in a final ruling, saying Knox and Sollecito’s convictions were the result of ‘stunning flaws’ in the investigation.