Steven Avery Update: Kathleen Zellner’s Tweets Have No Impact On Case, Says Law Professor

Kathleen Zellner, wrongful conviction attorney for Making a Murderer‘s Steven Avery, posted numerous tweets over the past few months about the case and how it’s botched, but a law professor says that the incidents she tweeted about have no merit.

Post Crescent News, part of the USA Today network, reports that Zellner still hasn’t filed an appeal for Avery, but she’s taken to Twitter to debunk the evidence presented in Avery’s 2007 murder trial. Yet according to Michael M. O’Hear, a professor at the Marquette University Law School, Zellner’s tweets aren’t going to help get Avery’s conviction overturned, and won’t do anything for the appeals process.

“It is hard to see how (the tweets) translate into any direct benefit for Avery. I doubt a judge or hypothetical future jury would be influenced much by the tweets, which are presumably going out to — and being shared by — a group of people who are already inclined to think that Avery is innocent.”

While Zellner’s tweets have garnered a lot of positive attention and praise from people who believe in Avery’s innocence, Anne E. Schwartz, director of communications for the Department of Justice, says it will have little effect on the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s decision when it comes to the appeals process.

“DOJ attorneys try cases in the courtroom, not on social media.”

So why is Zellner tweeting about the case? According to O’Hear, it’s simply to keep Avery supporters interested in the case and enraged at authorities who handled the case.

“It seems like there has been a surge of public support for Avery since the TV series came out, and I would think his lawyer is trying to keep the sympathetic public engaged.”

Zellner, however, told the New York Times that she’s confident that the information she’s uncovering will set Avery free. Avery is currently serving life in a Wisconsin prison for the 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach.

“We are confident Mr. Avery’s conviction will be vacated when we present the new evidence and results of our work to the appropriate court.”

Meanwhile, a British detective recently shared his thoughts on Avery, specifically the blood evidence used to convict the Manitowoc County man. According to CSI Chris Gee of the Sussex Police, the blood smudge shape on the dashboard of Halbach’s Toyota RAV4 suggest that it’s a “contact” smudge, meaning someone came into contact with the blood, then transferred onto the vehicle.

CSI Chris Gee said that the blood smudge on Teresa Halbach's vehicle is a "contact" smudge. (Photo by Manitowoc Country Sheriff's Office)

“It’s not spherical, it’s got quite a bit of movement to it. I think that was left by a contact. For example, if I’ve shaken hands with Steven Avery, he’s got blood on his hands, it’s gone on to my hands and I’ve entered that vehicle. Then I could be the one who deposited Steven Avery’s blood that way.”

Gee refused to say whether he thought Avery was guilty of the crime, but there is an insinuation that perhaps he had an accomplice during the crime or either a criminal mastermind who knew how to frame Avery. When questioned about that, Gee stated, “We cannot prove who has had the blood on them at the time.”

The crime scene investigator also focused on Avery’s blood found on one of the doors on the RAV4. He said that the person who shed the blood was bleeding at the time of the incident, and in order for the blood to land on the inside panel the way it did, the car door must have been open at the time.

Blood was found on the interior panel of Teresa Halbach's RAV4. (Photo by the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office)

So far, there is no word as to when Zellner will file the appeal for Steven Avery.

[Photo by AP/ Don Shrubshell, Pool]