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Italian appeals court says why it cleared Knox

MILAN, Italy (AP) -- The Italian appeals court that overturned Amanda Knox's murder conviction in the slaying of her British roommate gave the reasons for its ruling on Thursday: the evidence that had been used by a lower court against the American and her Italian boyfriend just didn't hold up.Those shortcomings included no murder weapon, faulty DNA, an inaccurate time for the killing, and insufficient proof that Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were even at the location where the crime occurred. So said the Perugia appellate court in its long-awaited reasoning behind its October ruling that reversed the lower court's convictions.British college student Meredith Kercher was found slain in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor in Perugia, Italy, on Nov. 2, 2007.Knox and Sollecito, who had just begun dating at the time of the murder, were arrested several days later, then convicted in what prosecutors' portrayed as a drug-fueled sexual assault. They were sentenced to 26 years and 25 years, respectively, in proceedings that made headlines around the world.On Thursday, the appellate cited among the other failed elements of the prosecutors' case DNA evidence, which was undermined during a re-examination in the appeals trial, and the failure to conclusively identify the murder weapon. The appellate court even contradicted the lower court's time of death, saying it happened at around 10:15 p.m., not after 11 p.m. The court said the \building blocks\ used to construct the case had failed.The appeals court also said there was no proof of the prosecutors' claim that Knox and Sollecito had helped a third man, who was convicted separately, of sexually assault Kercher, nor was there evidence that the pair had simulated a burglary by throwing a rock through a window to remove suspicion from themselves, as prosecutors alleged.The appeals court said the lower court had arrived at a verdict \that was not corroborated by any objective element of evidence and in itself was not