THE STORY SO FAR
THE ORIGINS OF THE STEVEN AVERY CASE DATE BACK TO NEARLY 40 YEARS AGO
11 September 2003
Following an investigation headed by the Wisconsin Innocence Project, Steven Avery is released from prison after 18 years of being jailed for the rape and attempted murder of a female jogger at Lake Michigan in 1982.
12 October 2004
Avery files a lawsuit against the US District Court seeking $ 36 million from Manitowoc County, including retired Sheriff Thomas Kocourek and former district attorney Denis Vogel, for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
31 October 2005
25- year- old freelance photographer Teresa Halbach visits the Avery Salvage Yard at approximately 2.30pm as part of a job for Autotrader magazine. She has previously attended the property to photograph Avery’s vehicles and had expressed unease over Avery’s demeanour.
3 November 2005
In Calumet County Teresa’s mother reports her daughter is missing. Calumet County contacts Manitowoc County officials for assistance with the search. They contact Avery and two other customers Teresa had attended appointments with the day she
was last seen alive.
8 November 2005
Halbach’s car key is found “lying on the floor” of Steven Avery’s bedroom after a
one- week search.
15 November 2005
Calumet County special prosecutor Ken Kratz charges Avery with Teresa’s murder
and the mutilation of her corpse. He reveals that Avery’s blood was found in
Avery pleads not guilty to Teresa’s murder. Remains found at the Avery Salvage Yard
are confirmed to be those of Teresa.
Avery’s 2005 wrongful conviction lawsuit against Vogel, Kicourek and Manitowoc County is settled for a total of $ 400,000.
1 March 2006
Police interrogate Avery’s 16- year- old nephew Brendan Dassey. Although he is read his Miranda rights he opts to be interviewed without a lawyer present or an appropriate adult. He initially denies knowing anything about Teresa’s murder but soon changes his story to incriminate himself, saying he raped and slit Teresa’s throat while his uncle watched, who then shot Teresa in the head.
2 March 2006
Dassey is charged with being party to the first- degree homicide of Teresa, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse.
8 March 2006
Additional charges are added to Avery’s case relating to sexual assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment.
29- 30 January 2007
During a pre- trial ruling the judge orders that the additional charges against Avery be dropped and that the jury not be told about Avery’s wrongful conviction. The defence is given permission to proceed with evidence that a vial containing Avery’s blood, which was taken in 1982, was unsecure ( the defence claim that Avery’s blood was planted in Teresa’s car).
12 February 2007
Avery’s trial begins. Ken Kratz leads the prosecution while Dean Strang and Jerry Buting defend Avery.
The jury declares Steven Avery guilty of intentional homicide, as well as of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is acquitted of mutilating a corpse and later sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
25 April 2007
A jury finds Brendan Dassey guilty of sexual assault, party to a homicide and mutilation of a corpse. He is sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2048.