Making a Murderer: Steven Avery's lawyer gets DNA sample to challenge prosecution's forensic case

The case of Steven Avery has drawn international attention

A lawyer representing an inmate featured in the documentary Making a Murderer has collected a new DNA sample as part of her effort to have his conviction overturned.

As Kathleen Zellner launches what has become a very public defence of Steven Avery, she has revealed that she visited her client at the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. In a post on Twitter, she said she had gathered a fresh sample of DNA.

“Collected samples for new tests. The inevitable is coming–he was smiling so were we,” she wrote.

Avery made international headlines when his story became the subject of a Netflix documentary that was broadcast late last year. It revealed how the 53-year had been wrongly convicted of a rape and served 18 years in jail.

It also told how, as he sued the Manitowoc County and its sheriff for $36m in damages for wrongful conviction, he was accused of the murder of a young photographer, Teresa Halbach.

Making A Murderer- Where are they now?

In 2007, he and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted of the murder of Ms Halbach and given life sentences, despite the pair continuing to protest their innocence.

In January, after the documentary secured a huge viewership, it was announced that Avery had obtained a new legal team, led by Ms Zellner and the Midwest Innocence Project. The lawyers soon filed a fresh appeal, seeking a new trial, and Ms Zellner began tweeting updates of her work, and attacking the prosecution case, lead by Ken Kratz.

Calumet County prosecutor Ken Kratz led the cases against Avery and his nephew

For all her public comments on social media, Ms Zellner has appeared less keen to speak directly to the media. However, this week she gave a rare interview to TheLipTV in which she said she believed the case against her client was slight and that it was “obvious” who the real killer was.

“It’s the evidence,” she said. “In having had a number of these cases, it has the signature of a wrongful conviction case. They only focused on him. They did not look at a lot of other suspects, certainly some very key people they should have been looking at.”

She added: “There was a very poor investigation done of the victim’s background, who she was involved with, the circumstances of her life. It had all of the hallmarks of a wrongful conviction case.”

Last month, Ms Zellner also gave an insight into her hope that advances in forensic testing could help her client.

“Since 2007 there have been significant advances in forensic testing and so clearly we’re going, the clearest way to do this is with scientific testing and that’s what we will be asking to do,” she said.

Earlier this month, Manitowoc County asked for more time to gather documents related to Avery’s case, as he seeks a new trial. The request was granted by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and the county now has until March 2 to comply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in