Amanda Knox's mom: 'Nobody's giving up'

Amanda Knox's mom: 'Nobody's giving up' »Play Video
Edda Mellas
The appeals wheels are in motion in Italy, following the murder conviction of former University of Washington exchange student Amanda Knox last month.

Amanda's mother, Edda Mellas, says the family is still confident they'll be able to bring her home to Seattle.

"We're told their appeals process works - it'll fix mistakes, so we have to hope that'll happen," says Mellas.

"Verdict Day" still stings for the Amanda Knox family.

"We did get to see Amanda the next day. Like everybody else, she was devastated by the verdict. But we're all bucking up and saying we've got to keep going," Amanda's mother said, through tears.

"I think we had almost all gotten our hopes up even more because the end of the trial went so well. The prosecutor kept changing the motive, he has no physical evidence ... no eyewitness. We had gotten even more hopeful toward the end," Mellas says.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years for her part in the murder of her roomate, Meredith Kercher. Mellas maintains it's an "incorrect verdict."

"They have found an innocent person guilty of a crime she did not commit," she says.

Edda Mellas is back at her teaching job in Seattle. But her heart is with her daughter in prison in Perugia, Italy. Amanda is able to receive visitors just six times a month, and to talk on the phone for 10 minutes a week.

"We make sure we all say "hi" and tell her we love her. We try to give her just a little snippet of what's happening with her cousins or friends. She tries to tell us something she's been up to - and then the time's up."

Her appeal is in motion. In March, the judge will issue a legal document entitled "motivations," which is an explanation of why the jury found her guilty. Based on what he says, her appeal will be filed by her legal team in Italy.

That team now includes renowned American defense attorney Ted Simon. He is technically a "consultant to the family," as defendants can only officially have two attorneys in Italy.

Mellas says Amanda's lawyers have done a great job in Italy, "but in order to make sure we don't leave any stone unturned, we've hired Ted, who has a lot of international practice. He will consult and help where needed, from the U.S. He can find experts or other court cases, to help in the appeal."

In an interview on Good Morning America, Simon said, "The theory of the prosecution really wasn't made out by the evidence. All you have to do is ask yourself: Here you have youthful college exchange student with no prior record, no history of violence - yet somehow she's miraculously transformed into a Satanic, ritualistic, evil, premeditated murderer. It doesn't make any sense. And if you get past that you have to ask yourself how is this possible without one bit of evidence of Amanda Knox found in the room where Meredith Kercher was found."

Criticism of the guilty verdict touched a nerve in Italy. But her family says they're not attacking Italy's legal process.

"It's OK to say there's no evidence. This verdict is incorrect. But it's not OK to be attacking the Italians for their system or the way they do things just because it's different from ours," said Mellas.

She and Amanda's attorneys have stayed in touch with government officials, from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell to the U.S. ambassador in Italy to make sure Amanda gets fair process and everything is "done correctly" in this case.

Mellas says she received tremendous support from Italian people.

"I can't even count the number of people who stopped me in the street to tell me it will be OK ... have courage. Anybody from prison guards, to police officers, to just everyday people on the street who said it will be OK."

Her mother says Amanda is trying to stay busy in prison and is taking classes through the University of Washington. She says she gets 30 to 40 letters a day from supporters all over the world, which help her stay positive and hopeful.

"We all assure her that she will get out of there. Nobody's giving up. But it's hard to tell her because there are innocent people convicted and accused all over the world. We tell her it's going to get fixed. We have two appeals if we have to. Because there's no motive, evidence - nothing that connects her to that crime, we're sure that at some point in the appeals process it'll get overturned."

Should the city of Seattle name a city park after it's sister city Perugia? Mellas said the timing is not the best.

"The city of Perugia's police department was the one to have been found to violate Amanda's civil rights. And that was by the Italian Supreme Court, not Americans pointing the finger. That was by Italians themselves, saying police in this town violated this girl's rights. So no, maybe naming a park after Perugia right now is not the best idea."