‘Making A Murderer’ Defendant’s Appeal: Court Rendered Decision On Steven Avery’s Request For New Trial

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Steven Avery, the convict featured in Netflix’s crime documentary Making a Murderer received the court decision on his appeal for a new trial was denied. According to Avery’s legal counsel, Kathleen Zellner had plans to provide the court with new evidence that could help the case of the defendant. However, the request for a new trial was rejected by a Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angele Sutkiewicz.

The Netflix hit Making a Murderer hinted Avery might not be guilty of Teresa Halbach’s murder. Avery was convicted back in 2005 of first-degree intentional homicide leading to the death of the 25-year-old photographer. As revealed in Making a Murderer, Avery denied the crime claiming a false testimony was given and the evidence was planted.

Zellner claimed they were optimistic about Avery’s conviction since they had “additional test results and witness affidavits.” She added that scientific testing has not been completed yet.

The state circuit judge denied the request for a new trial since Avery’s camp was unable to present evidence that would meet the criteria for such. The defendant’s camp insisted that the scientific evidence they have which was submitted during the trial provides alternative theories about Halbach’s murder. As hinted in Making a Murderer, the same evidence makes the motive of the police questionable.

The judge who heard the request ruled against it since the totality of the evidence which was submitted for the trial will not lead to a different result even if there is a new trial.

While this decision is not favorable for the Making a Murderer star, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel praised the judge for making the decision. According to him, it brings them “one step closer to providing justice to Teresa Halbach’s family.” He also emphasized the Department of Justice’s goal of defending Avery’s conviction which was being called into question after the case was featured in Netflix’s Making a Murderer.

Brendan Dassey, Avery’s 16-year-old nephew, claimed his uncle was the murderer. Dassey testified he helped Avery rape and kill Halbach at the salvage yard owned by the Avery’s. However, a year ago, Dassey’s conviction was overturned on the grounds that the teenager’s cognitive disabilities were taken advantage of and he was tricked into making the confession. The state is questioning the said ruling, and Dassey remains to be in custody while waiting for the result of the appeal.

Through the series Making a Murderer Avery’s case gained a lot of following. Making a Murderer creators were accused of providing a biased view and leaving out key evidence in the case. The filmmakers defended their work and supported efforts to establish Avery and Dassey’s innocence.

[Featured Image by Morry Gash/AP Images]