Amanda Knox Conviction Unraveling with Luciano Aviello Testimony

The case against Amanda Knox was further weakened yesterday when Italian jail inmate Luciano Aviello testified and contradicted Giuliano Mignini’s theory of the case.  Luciano Aviello is a mobster from Naples that is serving a 17-year sentence for racketeering.  Luciano Aviello tried to contact Italian authorities numerous times to give them the information that he had on the death of Meredith Kercher.  He was ignored, but was called to the stand yesterday by Amanda Knox’s lawyers to testify in her appeal.  Luciano Aviello testified that his brother Antonio Aviello returned home with a knife one day, covered with blood, and confessed to the crime.  These sort of  jail-house witnesses always pose a problem for any judicial system, whether in Italy or the U.S.   However, there are ways to test the credibility of such statements.  Usually, such witnesses are produced by the prosecutor, after he or she agrees to give a lenient sentence.  Since Luciano Aviello was called by the defense, we know that there has not been any such inducement.  The timing of the statement is also important.  Here Luciano Aviello consistently reported his concern to authorities but was apparently ignored.   The track record of a witness is also important.  In this case Luciano Aviello has been used repeatedly by prosecutors to testify against other mobsters, but only when he speaks in Knox’s defense is he deemed to lack credibility.  Luciano Aviello claims that he and his brother were living in Perugia at the time of the killing, and this should probably be pretty easy to confirm or refute.  Luciano claims that his brother described the killing as resulting from a botched burglary.  It would be interesting to hear if Antonio Aviello has a criminal record for other such burglaries.  Luciano Aviello has always claimed that he buried the knife used to murder Meredith Kercher near his home, covering it with earth and lime, along with the keys to the house.  As pointed out by an Italian writer, the strange thing is that the keys to the victim’s apartment were not ever found.  At Amanda Knox’s first trial, the defense team was not allowed to produce this testimony.  This is an issue that American criminal courts wrestle with too.  U.S. courts do not always allow defense attorneys to call witnesses to state that others have confessed to the crime.  Such testimony is sometimes considered hearsay, and is governed by evidence rule 804 which requires that the evidence be corroborated before it is presented to a jury.

Additionally, a fellow inmate of Rudy Guede, Mario Alessi testified yesterday that Rudy had confessed to him that Knox and Sollecito  had nothing to do with the crime.  Rudy Guede denied ever speaking to Alessi, but other detainees corroborated that they had spoken.  Usually what police look for when considering such statements is whether the witness knows of some crime-scene detail that a person would only know if they were at the scene of the crime.  However, in this case the police seem to have leaked out all the details of the offense to the press.

I blogged last month about the censoring of Frank Sfarzo’s blog.  Here is the perspective of anItalian lawyer on the same subject.

What do you think?  Could Antonio Aviello have committed the offense?  Could he have been with Rudy Guede on the night of the offense?  The press is treating the testimony of Luciano Aviello and Mario Alessi as contradictory, but is it really that inconsistent?  If Antonio Aviello has committed a sexual assault, would he really want to admit this to his brother?  Doesn’t it make more sense that if he wanted his brother’s help that he would have described the homicide as a botched burglary?

12 Responses to “Amanda Knox Conviction Unraveling with Luciano Aviello Testimony”

  • John Doe:

    Has anyone considered this a possibility? Frank Sfarzo said it wasn’t the prosecutor to blame but the cops. This got me to thinking about the bomb threat. Perhaps Guede was involved with a burglar ring which included some cops, Antonio Aviello, and other thugs . Perhaps Guede met up with them a little after 10 pm (TOD was likely at about 9 pm). He told them about Meredith coming in on the burglary, that he killed her and threw her phones in a yard, but he did not mention sex with her body. The cops were worried that Guede’s finger prints etc on the phones might get them busted also so they had an associate call a bomb threat to the home where the phones were, then they searched for the phones but failed to find them in the dark perhaps because the phones were in tall vegetation. After the body was discovered the cops thought the best way to take the heat off them was to put the blame on someone, then center the investigation around them. They chose Amanda and Raffaele. In Massei’s report he says the bomb threat occurred AROUND 10 pm. As we know the authorities in Perugia have difficulty with time and honesty. Guede tried to call the bank at 10 pm so the phones were not in the garden until after 10. We don’t know what time the bomb threat actually occurred. Apparently Massei’s word is worthless. Also consider the cops (postal police) were in a big hurry to put the blame on someone and right away they started lying, blacking out log entries etc. Do you think a burglar ring involving some postal police officers is likely??? Very Possible???? No?????

    [Note from Admin: the name of the commenter has been changed to John Doe because I have been unable to confirm the identity of the writer.]

  • John Doe:

    It appears that the murder occurred around 9 pm based on when Meredith’s and Guede’s paths first crossed the evening she was murdered. Here we have cops searching the property where the phones were found around two hours after the murder. What are the odds against this being a odd coincidence. A good guess would be 0.000001 which means next to impossible. A bomb threat occurs at the right time at the right place is very strange.

    The police would definitely be able to connect the house address where the phones were found, to the phone number and owner to stage a bomb threat.

    The probability that the police were looking for the phones is much higher than the probability that the bomb threat was a coincidence. IMHO

    If you consider all the lying and deceit on the part of the authorities that has occurred, and that they were in a big hurry to put the blame on someone fast, then consider the bomb threat, and consider the police putting the heat on someone, anyone, takes the heat off them, so they center the investigation around Amanda and Raffaele. For example in Massei’s report it appeared they did not take DNA samples from around the busted window, so the probability that the cops were in the garden looking for her cell phones again goes up.

    [Note from Admin: the name of the commenter has been changed to John Doe because I have been unable to confirm the identity of the writer.]

  • John Doe:

    NOTE: Here on page 25 and 27 below, in a round about way Massei owns up to officer Battistelli lying about what time the officers arrived at the apartment. On page 25 Massei is discussing when the two postal police arrived at the apartment. On page 27 he is discussing what time officer Battistelli said they arrived, followed by “ or so it seemed to the two policemen.”

    MASSEI REPORT PAGE 25: “ Also present were an inspector and an officer from the Postal Police of Perugia: Michele Battistelli and Fabio Marzi, who arrived a little before 1:00 pm. “

    MASSEI REPORT PAGE 27: “ As stated by Battistelli (page 80…, hearing of February 6, 2009) they had some difficulty finding the house, as they had gone along Viale S. Antonio, which is alongside and in part hides the house. Twice, Battistelli had had to get out of the car and walk along before finding the house, where he arrived with Assistant Marzi at a little after 12:30 pm, or so it seemed to the two policemen.”

    [Note from Admin: the name of the commenter has been changed to John Doe because I have been unable to confirm the identity of the writer.]

  • John Doe:

    MASSEI REPORT PAGE 38-39, Sophie Perton: “She remembered that they had eaten pizza and an apple cake. She did not know when they had finished eating; perhaps an hour before leaving; and she indicated that they had left the house at around 20:45 pm.
    She said good-bye to Meredith about ten minutes later, at 20:55 pm. She remembered the time because she wanted to be home at 21:00 pm to see a television program she was interested in. That evening, Meredith ‚did not have any appointment, she just said that she was tired. “

    Sophie did not remember the time she said bye to Meredith at the corner of the street Sophie lived on, all she remembered is she got home before her TV program started at 9 pm. The girls started walking home at around 8:45 pm. It’s a 6 minute walk from the friends home where Meredith spent the evening to her apartment. That would put her home around 8:51 pm. Meredith’s image was captured entering her driveway at 8:51 pm ( time stamp corrected for cam timer error) by the CCTV cam. The cop just threw in the at 8:55 pm to throw us off. What they don’t want us to know is Meredith was at home when she called her mom at 8:56 pm. The call was interrupted before her mom could answer. The cops don’t want us to consider what interrupter the call. Guede was in the apartment when she got home. What do you think interrupted the call?

    Rudy Guede told police that he was at Meredith’s apartment waiting for her to come Home. He was captured on CCTV cam arriving at her apartment two times shortly before Meredith Was captured on cam arriving at her driveway at 8:51 pm, corrected time. At 8:56 pm Meredith placed a call to her mom that was interrupted before her mom could answer. Her time of death depends on how long Guede let her live after that.

    Judge Massei said Guede’s whereabouts is not known, then assumes he arrived with Amanda and Raffaele at 11 pm.

    Meredith’s stomach content indicated she was murdered no later than 9 (first) 10 pm (later). How was it possible for Amanda to murder her with a knife that has NEVER had blood on it, do it in a small Room with Guede and not leave a trace of herself, or carry evidence away from the crime scene on her clothes or body.

    [Note from Admin: the name of the commenter has been changed to John Doe because I have been unable to confirm the identity of the writer.]

  • Patrick King:

    The problem I have with Guede having an accomplice at the crime scene: The door to the women’s apartment was keyed on both side. You had to have a key to get out. Say Guede and an accomplice came to the house, Guede tossed a stone through the window, scaled the wall, and climbed into Filomena’s room. He would then have rushed downstairs to let his accomplice in through the door, only to find he couldn’t open it and was effectively locked in. It’s one thing to climb up into the apartment, another to climb back down a wall without a rope. So Guede was effectively waiting for someone to come home from whom he could steal the key. It does not seem logical to me, even for a smash-and-grab burglar, which Guede clearly was, that two men climbed a wall to enter a vacant apartment. Not impossible, but very improbable.

    If there was an accomplice, he must have left. Had he stuck around to wait for Meredith’s arrival, the attack would have begun on the stairs. Meredith was very security conscious and certainly locked that door again behind her when she arrived home. Also, Guede would have had no need to take the keys unless he needed them to get out because the downstairs door was locked. From all the evidence at the crime scene, the attack was relegated to Meredith’s room exclusively. Guede went in there, probably a little panicked at having to confront her and demand the keys. Things went from bad to worse and the inevitable occurred.

    I don’t see a place for an accomplice here. There is unidentified DNA in Meredith’s room, but if that is Guede’s accomplice, Guede will have to explain how they actually got into the house, because if there were two or more of them, the obvious explanation cannot be correct.

    • Steve Graham:

      i think the hardest part of an accomplice theory is that men usually commit these rape / homicides alone. That is just a fact. I suppose some rare instances involve two men, but that is not very statistically likely. It is almost unheard of for a woman to assist in the rape / homicide of another woman, so you have to have an imagination like Giuliano Mignini to buy that theory.

  • I think you are the only one who thinks Aviello may have some credibility. He looks like he is 12 and has 7 convictions/accusations for calumnia or defamation if I recall. I think Alessi is more credible as he has a credible story and three other inmates to corraborate his story. Rudy’s DNA was found inside the body of the victim, i.e. he raped her, which means that since she died he raped and killed her. So that means that Aviello’s story is not physically possible. As for the trial, remember this is an inquisitorial system so the idea is to get everyone to come out and have their say and sort it out later.

    • Steve Graham:

      Yeah, but in Italy, they hand out charges for defamation like parking tickets. Go ask Amanda or her parents, or the West Seattle Herald, or Google over the auto-suggest results. And if you are testifying in public corruption trials, I can see officials lashing back. Aviello doesn’t have any perjury convictions which I think are the true barometer of credibility in courts of law. Luciano Aviello could be telling the truth about what Antonio said, Antonio could simply have lied to Luciano. The problem I have with Alessi’s story is that Alessi would be a strange confidant for Rudy Guede, and here is why. Even in prisons, child-killers are despised, even among the killers of adult women, and he is much older than Guede and it is hard to see that conversation taking place. But it is possible I suppose. I think if Guede acted alone it would only be human nature to be amazed at the court proceedings against Knox and Sollecito.

  • kat mears:

    Are the police incompetent, corrupt, or just lazy…or a combination of all 3, regarding “A police officer then testified… the garden in question was never dug up to see if the keys and knife were really there.” Why not dig for this evidence?

  • Evergreen:

    Looks like some very interesting news about the DNA evidence coming back. If only the independent review of the DNA evidence had been available in the first trial.


    The scary part is that while there are a few court dates coming up for the DNA independent review experts to present their findings, there is also the slander trials. Although I was hoping for somebody to turn the tables on Mingini by charging him with slander.

  • Steve Graham:

    Hi Evergreen, Yes, that was great news, everybody check that out. I am working on a new blog post about inside the mind of a guilter

  • Susan:

    I agree Kat that the garden should have been searched for the key and murder weapon.
    I think the evidence that you are all missing is that Meredith’s body was moved several hours after her death. They know this from the congealed blood, the dragging marks in it and the liver mortis. The body had been moved from in front of the wardrobe to the middle of the room. Who would have the confidence to return to the cottage and enter it after the death?
    There were a number of witnesses who saw them or evidence of them.
    1. A car had broken down just near the cottage and the tow truck driver saw a dark colored car parked in the driveway to the house. Sollecito drove a dark colored car.
    2. An Albanian man actually nearly drove over Amanda. She was sitting in the middle of the road. She got into an argument with him and was brandishing a knife. sollecito calmed the situation. He said a black man exited the house later. He also mentioned the tow truck in his testimony.
    3. Miss Formica witnessed Guede as they bumped into each other as he ran from the scene.
    4. Guede’s footprints run directly from the bedroom and out the door. Someone else had to have locked the bedroom as the door had a mortice lock. This ties in with the body being moved.
    As for a robbery gone wrong…why the rape as well? I don’t think this jail house confessional is true.

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Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking:
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