Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery has new trial bid rejected

Steven Avery’s latest attempt to overturn his conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach has been unsuccessful

Bevan Hurley
Wednesday 28 July 2021 15:52 BST
Making a Murderer Avery
Making a Murderer Avery (Associated Press)

A Wisconsin appeals court rejects bid for new trial from Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery.

Mr Avery is currently serving life sentences for the murder of freelance photogragher Teresa Halbach in 2005.

The case was turned into a hit Netflix documentary Making a Murderer.

Releasing its decision on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued a statement saying that Mr Avery was not entitled to a fresh hearing over new evidence and a third party suspect.

“We hold that Avery’s 974.06 motions are insufficient on their face to entitle him to a hearing and that the circuit court did not erroneously exercise its discretion in denying the motions to vacate and for reconsideration,” the court wrote.

“Accordingly, we affirm.”

On Tuesday, Avery’s attorney Katherine Zellner vowed to keep fighting to prove his innocence regardless of the decision.

“We are hoping justice prevails but regardless of the outcome our quest never ends until Steven is free,” Ms Zellner wrote.

In 2007, Mr Avery was convicted of Miss Halbach’s murder at his family scrapyard in the city of Two Rivers, Manitowoc County, in Wisconsin.

She had gone to the property to take photographs of a car Mr Avery had planned to sell.

Miss Halbach’s charred bones were later discovered in a burn pit on the property.

Now 59, he is serving a life sentence without the chance of parole.

Avery was falsely convicted of sexually assaulting a young female jogger in 1985.

The conviction was eventually overturned 18 years later and he was released from prison.

Two years after his release from prison, he was arrested for the murder of Miss Halbach.

His nephew Brendan Dassey was also convicted of the murder and is serving a life sentence.

Mr Avery has always protested his innocence, and his case came to the attention of filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi.

In 2015, the release of their popular Making a Murderer documentary cast doubt on the convictions. The documentary would go on to win four Emmys and be watched by tens of millions of viewers.

In the documentary, law enforcement officers were accused of planting evidence at the Avery family home and coercing a conviction from Mr Dassey.

However, subsequent legal efforts to overturn the convictions have been unsuccessful.

Mr Avery’s lawyer Ms Zellner had been seeking to introduce new evidence that cast fresh doubt on the convictions.

Mr Avery filed a civil suit seeking $36 million in compensation from Manitowoc County for the wrongful conviction on rape charges. The case was eventually settled for $400,000 in 2016.

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