Wrongful conviction lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, filed a 1,000 page motion for a new trial on behalf of Steven Avery on Wednesday in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, which details new scientific evidence, reported police cover-ups, and information that points towards who the likely “real killer” may be.
Steven Avery, the centerpiece of the the popular Netflix docu-series, Making a Murderer, is currently serving a life in prison sentence for the 2005 murder of freelance photographer, Teresa Halbach. Along with his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who’s also serving a life sentence for Halbach’s murder, Avery has had worldwide support from millions of people who believe he’s innocent and that he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit–including his attorney, Zellner, who promised to show proof that her client was framed.
— Ryan Ferguson (@lifeafterten) June 7, 2017
Zellner’s new motion not only details the results of new scientific testing in which professionals dispute the original testing that help put Avery away for life, but it also explains why Halbach’s former boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas is likely the person responsible for her murder.
“Mr. Avery’s post-conviction counsel have completed scientific testing and conducted an extensive re-investigation of his case, which demonstrates that planted evidence and false testimony were used to convict Mr. Avery of the first degree intentional homicide of Teresa Halbach.”
Zellner wrote that Hillegas was in a five-relationship with Halbach that started when they both were in high school. At some point during the relationship, Hillegas allegedly became jealous and abusive towards Halbach, which ultimately ended the relationship. However, Hillegas apparently wasn’t ready to let Halbach go, and through a series of points, Zellner explained in the motion how the former boyfriend not only had a motive to kill Halbach, but also the information needed to cover up the crime and pin it on Avery.
For instance, numerous voicemail messages were deleted from Halbach’s cellphone. Hillegas admitted he deleted them, but never gave a suitable explanation for it, at least in the eyes of millions of people who’ve followed the case for years. Further, Hillegas never gave an alibi for the night Halbach was killed and had “significant gaps” in his cellphone usage on the day that Halbach disappeared. He also had cellphone usage gaps during the following days after the victim’s disappearance. Other key points included:
– Hillegas volunteered false information to authorities about damage found on Halbach’s car. Testing concluded the damage was done after Halbach went missing, but Hillegas claimed it happened weeks before.
– Hillegas had fingernail scratches on his body shortly after Halbach’s disappearance.
– Hillegas “misrepresented” his identity while helping the community search for Halbach. He “accessed the Avery and surrounding properties using a fake name” of “Kilgus.”
– Hillegas “directed Pam [Sturm] to search Avery’ s Auto Salvage,” and told her the exact location to search. Sturm was the one who found Halbach’s RAV4 on Avery’s property.
– “Failure of law enforcement to identify prior abuse in Ms. Halbach ‘s romantic relationships to correctly assess the motive for her murder.”
The motion also accused Ken Kratz, the prosecuting attorney in the case, of willfully hiding information, such as a voicemail that placed Halbach leaving another property, not Avery’s, shortly before she disappeared. It also accused Kratz of purposely leaking information about Brendan Dassey’s so-called confession to the media, in an attempt to sway the public’s opinion early on, well before the trial started.
In light of the new information and evidence, Zellner is requesting a new evidentiary trial for Avery. Read the full motion below.
[Feature Photo: AP/Morry Gash, Pool, File]