Is Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery’s fight for freedom over?
Steven Avery IS THE MAKING A MURDERER CRIM’S FIGHT FOR FREEDOM OVER FOR GOOD?
My goal is to exonerate [my] client [by consulting the] best scientists in the world,’ Steven Avery’s defence attorney Kathleen Zellner vowed in early 2016, after taking on the high-profile case made famous by Netflix’s groundbreaking documentary Making a Murderer. But despite spending more than $300,000 on tests and promising to prove the guilty verdict was unjust, experts say she won’t succeed now that they have seen her new evidence. ‘Avery is going to die in prison,’ defence attorney Bruce Baron says.
But Kathleen isn’t giving up. On October 23, she filed a 54-page motion asking the court to reconsider its decision to deny her client, 55, a new trial for the grisly Halloween 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, 25.
Legal experts who reviewed the motion for OK! say that it’s simply too little, too late. Here, they outline Kathleen’s key arguments and why they won’t work. 1 Steven’s nephew Bryan Dassey told officials that his younger brother Bobby claimed he saw Teresa leaving Steven’s property. This contradicts Bobby’s testimony that he last saw Teresa walking toward Steven’s trailer. ‘Steven’s own statement was that Bobby left before Teresa left,’ says former prosecutor Ken Kratz – the man who put Steven behind bars. ‘[Kathleen] can’t just ignore evidence or her own client’s statements.’ 2 Photos of Teresa were found on Bryan’s home computer along with images of females being raped and tortured. ‘Details like this may have been interesting to mention during his trial or first appeal. But talking now about what was searched on a computer is irrelevant,’ argues Bruce. Ken agrees. ‘At first glance, it looks like it has merit, but [it’s] nonsense,’ he says, noting that at least six people had access to the computer, including Steven. ‘So which of those people used or viewed those images? It would be impossible to come up with that information.’ 3 Kathleen claims a witness recalled that Teresa took notes about an upcoming appointment in her day planner shortly before her disappearance – and that her ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas was later found to have the planner in his possession. Kathleen believes this indicates Ryan had access to Teresa’s car after she went missing. Ken, however, recalls that Teresa’s day planner was sitting on her kitchen counter when she went missing. 4 New forensic testing found Steven would had to have attempted to open the bonnet latch of Teresa’s SUV around 90 times to leave the amount of DNA the crime lab says they found there. ‘Did [Kathleen’s] experiment replicate the conditions at the time? I doubt it,’ says Ken, adding that Steven was sweaty when he touched the latch because he’d spent almost 30 minutes camouflaging the vehicle under heavy branches. ‘It’s meaningless,’ he says.
Steven’s reps have suggested others might be responsible for Teresa Halbach’s death ‘Giving up… would be accepting that someone else got away with murder,’ says Steven’s lawyer, Kathleen (below)