Kathleen Zellner, the attorney for “Making a Murderer” convict Steven Avery, says that new findings, including an alternate suspect, and further tests on the evidence should set Avery free.
On the heels of Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey having his own conviction overturned for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, Zellner told The New York Times that new tests on the case evidence could be completed within 60 days.
Zellner, whose work has helped to exonerate 17 people of wrongful convictions, believes she has a solid alternative suspect.
“There is evidence that already exists in the case that points to a different location and a different suspect,” Ms. Zellner said. “We’ve got a combination of forensic evidence and a tip from somebody that we’ve interviewed multiple times that we think is credible.”
In addition to the other suspect, Zellner plans new tests, some of which weren’t available at the time of the original trial. She hopes this closer look at the evidence will prove that at least some of it was planted.
“I’ve never seen a more graphic, compelling illustration of a crime scene that was fabricated,” she said.
Those tests will be used on the blood samples, the bones that were discovered, and the sweat attached to Avery that was found under Halbach’s car latch.
“It may not all be successful, but I believe if even one bit of evidence is planted, the conviction is going to be vacated,” she told the newspaper.
In response to Zellner’s claims, a spokesman for Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement:
“The attorney general and Wisconsin Department of Justice will make their arguments in court and feel confident Mr. Avery’s conviction will be upheld… Of course, the attorney general wants to see justice prevail and will evaluate any new, credible evidence brought forward.”
For a time, Avery represented himself from prison. After being denied by the Supreme Court, Avery appealed. While that request is still pending, Zellner said she won’t be able to use that opportunity to present new evidence. She seeks to argue her case at the trial-court level in order to request a new hearing of the evidence.
Netflix plans to cover the new developments in a second season of “Making a Murderer,” currently in production.
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