Kathleen Zellner Makes Case For Missing Teresa Halbach Voicemail

Kirk WagnerAP Images

The jury was misled because the state withheld evidence in the trial of Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery, his lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, claims.

The Chicago lawyer’s accusation centers on a voicemail left by Teresa Halbach on the answering machine belonging to JoEllen and George Zipperer on October 31, 2005. Halbach called the couple at 2:12 p.m., indicating she was having trouble finding their address.

Police transferred the recording to a CD during the investigation. However, there is a problem, Zellner claims. The Calumet County or Manitowoc County sheriff departments are unable to locate the disc.

The call Halbach placed at 2:12 p.m. is also not listed on her AT&T phone records obtained by Zellner in February. It is, however, listed on a Cingular Wireless report introduced by the state more than 10 years ago.

The state alleges that Halbach arrived at the Zipperer residence no later than 2:30 p.m. and stayed for approximately 15 minutes before driving north to Steven Avery’s trailer, where she was killed by Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey.

The location of her cell phone — and which cell tower it pinged — says something else. Wireless data taken from the state’s Cingular Wireless report shows Halbach’s phone pinged a cell tower in Mishicot, Wisconsin, at 2:12 p.m. That means she left the voicemail while en route to Avery Road to take a picture of Barb Janda’s van.

There’s a reason for the disparity, Zellner says, and it lies with the man who called her latest motion to free Steven Avery “ridiculous.”

“Suspiciously, (Ken) Kratz never played the recording of the 2:12 p.m. voicemail for the jury,” Zellner says in the motion. “It is reasonable to conclude that Mr. Kratz concealed the 2:12 p.m. voicemail because it confirmed that the Zipperers’ residence was Ms. Halbach’s last stop. (The) CD of her voicemail left on the Zipperer’s answering machine was concealed and/or destroyed by the State to mislead the jury into believing Ms. Halbach’s last stop was Mr. Avery’s.”

Zellner also asserts that Kratz’s timeline conflicts with a conversation between Calumet County Lt. Mark Wiegert and Manitowoc County Detective Dave Remiker on November 5, 2005.

“Her first appointment is in New Holstein,” Wiegert says. “That’s about 1:30 in the afternoon. She leaves New Holstein and we believe from there she goes to Avery’s. Time? We’re not sure.”

“Avery says he thinks it’s between 2 and 2:30,” Remiker says.

“From there,” Wiegert says, “we believe that she goes to Zipperer’s. And Zipperer is apparently not really good on time or date. And that’s the last anyone has seen her.”

Wiegert and Remiker based their conclusion of Teresa Halbach’s travel on the Zipperer voicemail, a recording police listened to November 3 at the Zipperer residence, Zellner says. The message was transferred to a CD on November 6, 2005.

Avery maintains he called Halbach at 2:24 p.m. and that she arrived at 2:31 p.m. He said he watched her drive off his family’s property a few minutes later.

A call the state claims Halbach made to Auto Trader at 2:27 p.m. does not show up on the AT&T call log.

Kratz, who also prosecuted Brendan Dassey, said last week that Zellner named Ryan Hillegas as the killer because forensic test results do not point to Avery’s innocence. Kratz has also written a book about the case.

[Featured Image by Kirk Wagner/AP Images]