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Amanda Knox champions Texas mother on death row

Once held in an Italian prison before being acquitted of murder, Knox is sharing her thoughts on the saga of Melissa Lucio.
Amanda Knox, left, is taking to Twitter to defend Melissa Lucio, a Texas mother who is scheduled to be executed on April 27, 2022 for the 2007 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah.
Amanda Knox, left, is taking to Twitter to defend Melissa Lucio, a Texas mother who is scheduled to be executed on April 27, 2022 for the 2007 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah.Vincenzo Pinto / Getty Images / Theresa Najera / AP
/ Source: TODAY

Amanda Knox has divulged the day she felt like “the worst mother in the world” to underline a court case involving a woman accused of murdering her daughter.

“A few months ago, in that blurry haze of new motherhood, I left my infant daughter Eureka on the couch for just a few seconds,” Knox, 34, shared in a Twitter thread on Tuesday. “She rolled and slipped and tumbled to the floor, hitting her head, then burst out crying.

“I held her against my chest, crying myself, trying to calm her, feeling like the worst mother in the world. My mom reassured me that I’d hit my own head in the exact same way more than once. And sure enough, Eureka was fine. Not even a bruise.”

Referring to such childhood accidents as a frightening “rite of passage,” Knox acknowledged their potential to end tragically, as in the case of 53-year-old Melissa Lucio, a Latina woman who sits on death row in Gatesville, Texas for the 2007 death of her 2-year-old daughter, Mariah. 

Like Lucio, Knox has her own legal history. Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were famously acquitted (in 2011 and again in 2015 after a new trial) for the 2007 murder of Knox’s former roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Italy during the women’s study abroad trip.

Knox lives in Seattle with her husband, Christopher Robinson, and their daughter, who was born in October. In 2013, she released the memoir “Waiting to Be Heard” about her experience. Knox also works with the Innocence Project, a criminal justice nonprofit organization that opposes Lucio’s execution — as does Kim Kardashian, who tweeted this month, “There are so many unresolved questions surrounding this case and the evidence that was used to convict her.”

According to the Innocence Project, Lucio, who is scheduled to be executed on April 27, “did her best given her incredibly difficult circumstance” as a mother of 12 who, at the time of Mariah’s death, was pregnant with twins whom she later gave up for adoption.

The organization argues that Lucio took responsibility for the death of her daughter, who fell down a flight of stairs at home, only “after hours of relentless, aggressive interrogation in the presence of armed detectives,” which her legal team says broke Lucio down. Her lawyers also have pointed to Lucio's history of sexual and physical abuse as a child. 

However, Texas prosecutors have maintained that Lucio physically abused Mariah and have pointed to bodily injuries — claims Lucio’s legal team deny. As previously reported by NBC News, the mother’s lawyers said young Mariah had a disability that made her clumsy. When the girl became “unresponsive,” her parents sought medical attention for her. Paramedics took Mariah to a hospital, where she was declared dead.

Some replies to Knox’s tweet thread came from people who stressed the need to learn more details about Lucio’s case aside from what can be found on social media. Other responses came from parents who opened up about past accidents involving their own children.

“[I don’t know] the details of this case but I do know that our baby rolled out of bed onto the floor while my husband & I were RIGHT THERE,” one person wrote. “The baby was fine but a couple of seconds of distraction could’ve upended our lives forever. I feel for any parent who goes through something similar.”

“We have all been there,” tweeted another. “My daughter pushed hard enough against the baby gate and ended up tumbling down 5 steps. I screamed, then ran to her. I remember her looking at me like 'what’s wrong with mom?' Then she burst out crying because, obviously, I was.”