US cable channel tells Meredith murder story

A little-known actress has been chosen to play murdered Leeds University student Meredith Kercher in a new film.

Amanda Fernando Stevens, 26, was picked because she bears a resemblance to the student who was killed in 2007.

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The case surrounding her death in Italy made headline news around the world, as did the police inquiry and the high profile trial which followed her death.

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The film is being made by an American company, Lifetime, and will be broadcast in the US in March on the women's cable network.

Director Robert Dornhelm saw Amanda at a casting and noticed she looked similar to Meredith and signed her despite her lack of experience.

A website says the brown-haired actress is 5ft 5ins and slim and was trained at the Central School of Speech and drama.

She has a Latino background, is olive-skinned and is multi-talented.

She plays flute and piano and is a mezzo-soprano.

She has appeared in musicals at Cambridge University such as The Threepenny Opera and The Boyfriend. Her CV also includes TV voiceovers and modelling.

Miss Stevens offers her services as a tutor in chemistry and maths on a website. She graduated in natural sciences from Cambridge and then did a postgraduate course in drama.

The film has caused a storm in Italy and filming had to be moved from Perugia to Rome.

American Amanda Knox has been jailed for 26 years for the murder and sexual assault of her flatmate in Perugia. Meredith, 21, was found semi-naked and with her throat slashed.

Knox's Italian former lover Raffaele Sollecito was jailed for 25 years and an Ivory Coast barman Rudy Guede was given 30 years, later reduced on appeal to 16 years.

Prosecutiors claimed Knox was filled with vengeance after her "prissy room-mate" criticised her sexual habits. Her trial lasted 11 months.

Knox has expressed fears that she will remain in jail for the rest of her life in letters sent to an Italian MP.

Both the Knox and Kercher families have expressed their anger at the making of the film. Meredith's father John said: "Seeing Meredith's death graphically portrayed on the big screen is a horrible thought."

27 October 2017.'The view from the top of Leeds Town Hall.'Leeds Civic Hall.

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