The life of Steven Avery is in hot focus now that the Netflix series titled Making a Murderer has become a sensation. Avery was portrayed in the Making a Murderer documentary as a man with questions about his guilt or innocence swirling about. Steven served 18 years in prison for a rape that he was later exonerated from, after DNA evidence proved he didn’t commit the crime. Whilst Avery’s wrongful imprisonment lawsuit was still pending, Steven was blamed for the death of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach — a freelance photographer who worked for publications such as Auto Trader.
Teresa was killed on October 31, 2005, and two years later, Avery would be found guilty of the first-degree intentional homicide of Halbach. Evidence that was found on and nearby the Avery Family auto salvage lot was questioned, with varying arguments over whether or not authorities planted evidence to frame Avery. It was a large auto body lot that had plenty of abandoned cars on it in rural Manitowoc County, a county that became the bane of the existence for the family.
During his 2007 trial, Avery had, as his defense attorneys, two men — one named Jerome Buting and the other named Dean Strang. During the Making a Murderer series, Strang is shown giving it all he had in order to defend Steven. Avery was under fire, along with his nephew, in the death of Teresa after she traveled to the salvage lot to take photos of a minivan the family had for sale.
However, after a brief time of Steven planning to represent himself, now comes news that he has new lawyers, as reported by EW. Those new lawyers include Kathleen T. Zellner and Tricia Bushnell. Instead of the lawyers featured in the Making a Murderer series, which included Buting and Strang — as well as prosecutors Thomas Fallon and Kenneth Kratz — new attorneys will stand by Steven’s side.
As reported by ABC News, Zellner is from The Law Firm of Kathleen Zellner and Associates, P.C. in Downers Grove, Illinois. The attorney’s firm released a statement about the new representation of Avery.
“The Law Firm of Kathleen T. Zellner and Associates, P.C. is pleased to announce that it will be assuming the full and complete representation of Steven Avery in all of his pending criminal matters. Ms. Zellner’s firm will be assisted by local Wisconsin counsel Tricia Bushnell. Ms. Bushnell is the Legal Director of the Midwest Innocence Project. The Zellner Law Firm is looking forward to adding Mr. Avery to its long list of wrongful conviction exonerations.”
Zellner made big news recently when her client, Ryan Ferguson, as reported by ABC News, was exonerated. Ferguson had received a 40-year sentence for the death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.
Mario Casciaro was also a client of Zellner’s, and when Mario got out of prison after being wrongfully convicted, Casciaro said he felt like he was winning the lottery. That’s because a prison inmate told Mario that he had only seen three people get out in the 20 years he’d been there. Mario explained that he didn’t let them imprison his mind all the time he spent in prison. Mario had received a sentence of 26 years in prison for the murder of Brian Carrick.
A cover of Chicago Lawyer magazine shows Zellner as their “Person of the Year,” one who focuses on “rewriting the ending for the wrongly convicted.”
Tricia Bushnell will assist Zellner.
Making a Murderer covers not only the plight of Avery throughout Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, but Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, as well. With Zellner’s track record, fans of the Making a Murderer subjects are looking forward to how the lawyer will cause additional updates to the prison sentences to make news.
[AP Photo/Don Shrubshell, Pool]