Steven Avery Attorney Kathleen Zellner Still Stands Behind Forensic Testing
Attorney Kathleen Zellner

Steven Avery Attorney Kathleen Zellner Still Stands Behind Forensic Testing

As producers of Making a Murderer vow there will be a second season, Steven Avery’s attorney says she is standing by her claim that forensic testing results will free him.

“Would not still be rep. SA if the test results proved his guilt,” Kathleen Zellner tweeted May 5. “Winning takes a little longer than losing.”

Zellner followed the May 5 message with several others. On May 14, she tweeted, “834 days b/w SA’s conviction & 1st post-conviction filed: SA lost. 492 days so far on 2nd post-conviction.”

She also called the system “unfair,” and the reason Avery and nephew Brendan Dassey are still behind bars.

Last summer, Zellner, a noted post-conviction lawyer, told reporters “a lot was planted” in the murder of Teresa Halbach back in 2005, referring to evidence Avery has long claimed was used to frame him for the crime. Before she filed a motion for testing, Zellner said a “tsunami of new evidence” would be on the way.

She said last November forensic test results would come back within a few months. So far, nothing has been revealed.

As strongly suggested in the first season of Making a Murderer, officers with the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department were allegedly behind a massive attempt to put Avery away for killing Halbach, the photographer he hired to take pictures of cars he sold in Auto Trader magazine. Avery claims police planted her car in his family’s salvage yard, his blood in the vehicle, its key in his trailer and her bones in his fire pit. Avery claims officers concocted the frame-up in retaliation of a $36 million lawsuit he filed against the county for wrongfully convicting him of a 1985 rape for which he spent 18 years in prison.

Avery and then 16-year-old Dassey were both sent to prison for life, Steven without parole. Dassey’s conviction was overturned last year, yet he remains in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections while the attorney general’s office appeals the ruling. A federal court decision is pending.

Zellner took Avery’s case last January, after Making a Murderer took Netflix by storm and produced millions of web sleuths, many coming forward with theories of who “really killed Teresa Halbach.” Zellner claims she knows who the real killer is but says she won’t reveal the identity until after testing proves her client is innocent.

Items sent for advanced forensic testing include the following.

  • A vial of blood Avery’s blood drawn in 1996 and in Avery’s file at the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department. This is the vial Avery’s trial lawyers say could have been the source of blood found in Halbach’s Toyota RAV4. Avery’s blood was found on the seats, ignition area, passenger’s door, floor, and on a CD case found in the car. The blood in the vial contains an anti-coagulant to preserve it. No anti-coagulant was found in the blood found in the car when it was tested during trial. But, Zellner says she can prove through carbon dating the blood is older than 2005.
  • A DNA swab from the RAV4 hood latch. This swab contained Avery’s DNA District Attorney Ken Kratz said Steven deposited in his sweat when he touched the latch to disconnect the battery. Zellner claims the DNA was planted.

Making a Murderer also drew significant attention to Halbach’s remains. Her charred bones were found in at least two locations on Avery’s property. The majority of the bones were found in a fire pit behind Avery’s garage. Other fragments, along with her purse, burnt cellphone, and camera were located in a burn barrel near Steven’s sister’s house next door, where Brendan Dassey lived. Avery and Zellner claim the bones were planted, likely when Avery was at his family’s property in Crivitz, Wisconsin, about 100 miles north. Avery left for Crivitz four days after Halbach was last seen on his property.

In a wild turn of events in February 2017, Joseph Evans, an inmate who had a friendship with Avery in prison, claimed Steven confessed to the Halbach killing. Evans recorded the alleged confession in a nine-page letter he sent to media. He claims Avery detailed how he raped and killed Halbach and how Dassey helped clean up the scene and dispose of her corpse.

Zellner did not comment on the Evans letter.

A release date for the second season of Making a Murderer has not been announced.

[Featured Image by Monica Schipper/Getty Images]

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