Is Mak­ing a Mur­derer’s Steven Avery’s fight for free­dom over?


OK! (Australia) - - Contents -

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)

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