He was arrested in a dawn raid by armed police and spent two weeks in jail.
It was only by chance that a Swiss businessman read about the case and came forward to say he had been talking to Lumumba in his bar on the night of the murder — offering him a rock-solid alibi.
She wrote: "Our intimacy advanced to the point that we decided to join forces, combine resources, and weave together our separate strands." Just two days before making the relationship public, the young woman shared the date October 3, writing: "October 3rd, 2011.
Lumumba says Knox nearly ruined his life and is suing her for defamation. Sollecito could not back up Knox’s alibi on the night of the murder.
She claimed she spent the evening with him, smoking marijuana, watching the French film Amelie and making love.
But it seemed far-fetched to claim that such relatively minor differences would lead Knox to kill. None of Knox’s DNA was found in the bedroom in which Miss Kercher was stabbed to death.
The prosecution claimed that Knox’s DNA was on the handle of the presumed murder weapon, a kitchen knife, and Kercher’s genetic material on the blade, linking the American to the killing.
AMANDA KNOX has embraced her freedom by announcing she is in a relationship.
The 29-year-old confirmed she was now dating Christopher Robinson on social media, writing that the couple had been in a relationship since February 13, 2016.
But computer experts told the court that there was no activity on his laptop between 9.10pm on Nov 1, and 5.32am the next morning — the time frame in which the murder took place.
Knox and Sollecito turned off their mobile phones on the night of the murder, from around 8.40pm, and turned them back on at around 6am, inviting further suspicion. A bedroom belonging to one of Miss Kercher’s Italian flatmates was ransacked on the night of the murder, with a window smashed with a rock.
But Sollecito told police he could not remember if Knox was with him that evening or not.
Even assuming his memory was hazy because of the drugs, it seemed odd that a young man who had just embarked on a new relationship could not recall whether he had spent the night with his girlfriend or not. Sollecito claimed he used his computer to download and watch cartoons and Amelie.
The bra clasp was only found six weeks after the initial crime scene investigation, by which time it had been kicked around the floor of Miss Kercher’s bedroom, leading to a high risk of contamination. The prosecution struggled to come up with witnesses who could place Knox and Sollecito at the scene of the crime.