Kathleen Zellner Files Motion To Vacate Order Denying New Trial For Steven Avery

Kathleen Zellner, attorney for Making a Murderer‘s Steven Avery, filed a motion Friday to vacate an earlier decision to deny him a new trial.

Zellner, who took Avery’s case in January 2016, asked the court to vacate the order issued Tuesday by Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz. Zellner is asking the court to relieve her and Steven Avery from that summary judgement under Wisconsin Statute 806.07(1)(a), because of a “mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect.”

Zellner said Wednesday Sutkiewicz’s decision was a surprise to her and prosecutors, as she had an agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Justice to complete further forensic testing in the case and submit an amendment to her 1,200-page petition for a new trial she filed in June.

According to Zellner’s motion Friday, the agreement on September 18 was with Assistant Wisconsin Attorney General Tom Fallon and special prosecutors Norm Gahn and Mark Williams. Zellner said the state agreed for her to test swabs taken from Teresa Halbach’s Toyota RAV4 and to conduct a complete examination of the vehicle’s interior and exterior.

Zellner says she also intends to test Halbach’s license plates, a lug wrench and pelvic bone particles found in the gravel pit near Steven Avery’s property.

In an interesting move, the noted post-conviction lawyer has agreed to remove from her new brief allegations of ethical violations she made against former Calumet County Prosecutor Ken Kratz. Information about “brain fingerprinting” will also be removed from the brief she plans to file in late November.

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Tuesday’s ruling spawned a significant amount of questions about whether Sutkiewicz was unaware of the agreement Zellner had with Attorney General Brad Schimel’s office or the judge chose disregard it and issue a judgement without granting an evidentiary hearing.

Zellner told the Inquisitr Wednesday that she does not expect the trial court to decide Avery’s case. She said she is preparing for it to move up to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

“When the case goes up on appeal we want the appellate court to have a full and complete record to review so we will amend the petition with the current judge to accomplish that goal,” she said.

Friday’s motion made no mention of possible new witnesses in the case, namely a man who claims he saw what may have been Teresa Halbach’s RAV4 parked just off a Wisconsin Highway 147 before it was found on the Avery property on November 5, 2005.

While the exact date of the highway sighting is unknown, it is believed to have occurred before another witness, Steven Avery’s neighbor, reportedly saw the RAV4 and a white SUV enter the property but only the white vehicle exit.

According to Zellner, the man who claims he saw the vehicle off Highway 147 reported the sighting to Manitowoc County Sgt. Andrew Colborn. Whether that report was ever logged is not known.

[Featured Image by Morry Gash/AP Images]