FLORENCE -- Italy's Supreme Court has overtured Seattle native Amanda Knox's murder acquittal and has ordered a new trial. The decision came down shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Knox's case has an Idaho connection. The work by Boise State DNA expert Dr. Greg Hampikian helped free Knox back in 2011.
An appeals court in Florence must now re-hear the case against Knox and her Italian-ex-boyfriend. Both will be retried for the murder of Knox's 21-year-old roommate Meredith Kercher. Kercher's throat had been slashed back in 2007, and she was found dead in the flat both shared in Verugia, Italy.
Knox was eventually acquitted of the murder four years later. She was found not guilty thanks in part to the help of Boise State DNA expert Dr. Greg Hampikian.
However, because Italy's highest criminal court has overturned the acquittal and ordered a new trial, Knox may be forced back into the Italian legal system again.
Prosecutors argue a new trial could allow for more definitive DNA testing. Hampikian, who remains in contact with Knox's family, says he is prepared for a re-trial.
"...how would you feel if your daughter's acquitted of murder after having spent four years in prison, and then they're revisiting it even though all of the science speaks very clearly that she's innocent?" Hampikian told KTVB. "Why are they doing this again?"
Originally, prosecutors alleged Kercher was the victim of a drug-fueled sex game gone awry. All along, Knox and has denied wrongdoing.
Knox released a statement to the Associated Press calling the decision "completely unfounded and unfair".
She went on to say, "No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity."
Boise State DNA expert Dr. Greg Hampikian
Knox's re-trial is not expected before the end of 2013, and the trial itself could take up to two years.That's according to NBC News.
However, Italian law cannot force Knox to return to Italy. If convicted, Knox's attorney says Italy could try to have her extradited from the US.
Both country's authorities could also work out a deal that would keep her in the US.