Amanda Knox, the American woman convicted of murder by an Italian court in 2009, has been freed after an appeals court overturned the decision on Monday. Her co-defendant and former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was cleared as well.

Knox had already served four years of a 26-year sentence for the 2007 sexual assault and stabbing death of her British roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, when they were both students in Perugia, Italy. Knox and Sollecito have denied any involvement in the crime.

“I’ve lost a friend in the worst, most brutal, most inexplicable way possible," Knox previously told the jury in Italian. "I’m paying with my life for things that I didn’t do."

The eight-member jury deliberated for 11 hours before reaching Monday's verdict. When it was read in open court, Knox collapsed in tears.

In a statement, her family expressed gratitude to supporters and said, "We are thankful that Amanda's nightmare is over ... [and that] the court [had] the courage to look for the truth and overturn this conviction. We now respectfully ask you to give her family the privacy to recover from this horrible ordeal."