PERUGIA, Italy - The mother of an American student accused of killing her British roommate in Italy said today that her daughter and the victim "got along great" and that her daughter never considered leaving Italy after the slaying.
Amanda Knox is on trial on charges of murder and sexual violence in the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, central Italy.
Her mother, Edda Mellas, took the stand for two hours today, testifying that there were no problems between her daughter and Kercher.
"They got along great," Mellas told the eight-member jury, speaking in a soft, unemotional voice. "She told me about the fun things she and Meredith did," she said, without elaborating.
Last week, Knox testified she was shocked by the death of Kercher, whom she considered her friend. This contrasted with previous testimony by other witnesses that Kercher had complained about Knox's bathroom habits and had expressed surprise at her apparent promiscuity.
Knox is on trial together with her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Both deny wrongdoing.
Mellas also testified about three phone calls she received from Knox on Nov. 2, 2007, the morning Kercher's body was found in her bedroom.
"In her first call, she said she thought somebody was in the house," Mellas said.
Last week, Knox recalled going home that morning to find the front door open. She said she took a shower and saw blood in one of the apartment's bathrooms.
The second and third calls were made after Kercher's body was discovered, Mellas said.
"She was very upset, it was disturbing," Mellas said.
Lawyers and prosecutors contended in court that, according to conversations secretly recorded during a visit by Mellas to her jailed daughter, Mellas indicated that Knox had already spoken during her first call home about a foot having been seen in Kercher's bedroom - before the body was discovered.
Kercher's body was found half naked, partially covered by a duvet, with a foot sticking out.