Steven Avery’s wrongful conviction attorney, Kathleen Zellner, is keeping her promise to uncover more details regarding the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. The high-power lawyer recently recruited the help of experts to use new scientific testing on Halbach’s car key, in an attempt to determine if Halbach’s DNA was wiped off with solvent after the crime.
In Touch reports that Halbach’s car key to the Toyota RAV4 found on Avery’s property days after her death, is currently being analyzed by state-of-the-art testing. The results may possibly prove that Avery’s DNA was planted on the car key after someone cleaned off Halbach’s DNA and wiped it down with a cleaning solvent.
The key played an integral part during Avery’s trial and his ultimate conviction after investigators found it inside his bedroom while searching his Manitowoc County home. Zellner, however, and numerous Avery supporters, feel that the key may have been planted in the bedroom by Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Lieutenant James Lenk.
The key analysis wasn’t provided during Avery’s 2007 trial, nor was it available, as the technology had yet to be created. According to Zellner, this new technology is Avery’s last shot at getting out of prison, and she’s hoping to completely exonerate him. No retrials of the case are on the agenda. Earlier this year, the attorney said:
“We have to have new evidence that could not have been obtained before that would result in no juror believing that Steven Avery committed the crime. So that’s the standard. It’s kind of a high hurdle to jump, but we can jump it with new technology. With someone who’s innocent, you can definitely jump that hurdle.”
Another positive bit of information for Avery is that, reportedly, there’s proof Halbach left Avery’s property and used her phone outside of the property prior to her death, meaning it’s possible that she was murdered by someone else.
Detectives found remnants of Halbach’s remains, as well as her cellphone and part of her jeans on the property, but there may be evidence that shows it was impossible for Halbach to have been killed on Avery’s property.
Earlier this year, Zellner indicated that another scientific technique, which was also unavailable during the 2007 trial, is being used to determine if Avery’s blood, found on the RAV4, was actually blood taken from a sample Avery had given authorities during the 1980s.
The technique involves using a test, developed in 2011, that can discern how old blood is by analyzing an internal compound that tends to break down over time.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections recently released thousands of pages of email exchanges between prison officers under the Freedom of Information Act. The emails indicate that prison officials apparently feared for Avery’s safety after the release of the docu-series, Making a Murderer. Officials “offered [Avery] the opportunity to change housing and possibly a cell by the staff desk. He declined. We also discussed the possibility of moving to another institution and he didn’t think it was necessary.”
An email exchanged also revealed that former Wapun prison warden Bill Pollard rejected a television interview regarding Avery and referred to Halbach as Jessica Halbach, writing that he refuses to provide any credibility to the case.
“I am not inclined to participate in adding any credibility or inmate perspective on a case that has already been tried, nor do I think we should participate or authorize this which could victimize the family of Jessica Halbach by allow (sic) such an interview. Money has already been coming in from all over for him due to the notoriety and I do not think is (sic) a good idea to make it any bigger deal than it actually is.”
Kathleen Zellner plans to present the evidence to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on August 29, meaning Steven Avery may potentially be exonerated within months.
[Photo by Netflix]