Making a Murderer's Steven Avery Granted New Appeal Against Murder Conviction
New lawyer wins appeal in case at center of Netflix documentary
Making a Murderer's Steven Avery has won a new appeal to have his case reexamined after new evidence has been uncovered in the murder case of Teresa Halbach.
Avery's case is at the center of popular Netflix documentary and he's currently serving life in prison for the crime, it is widely believed he didn't commit, after exhausting all previous appeals.
The trial was covered in the landmark 2015 doc Making a Murderer, which followed the investigation into Halbach's murder, filmed over the course of a decade.
Mr. Avery denies murdering Ms. Halbach's after her remains were found in a gravel pit on his property in 2005.
Kathleen Zellner, Avery's new lawyer, has taken over the case since the show originally aired and has maintained his innocence.
On February 13 she lodged an appeal, arguing the bones found on Avery's property were never tested for DNA.
According to Sky News, in a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Ms. Zellner says pelvic bones found in the pit were given to Ms. Halbach's family and were not tested for DNA - which is in violation of state law.
Ms. Zellner said this meant potentially crucial evidence in the case had been kept from further testing.
If the bones are found to belong to Ms. Halbach, Ms. Zellner says it undermines the state's theory that she was killed on the Avery property.
She says this evidence "has the potential to undo the whole case."
An appeal brings Avery closer to a re-trial, which Ms. Zellner describes as a "dream."
A new trial means that Avery's team would have the chance to present new evidence that has been discovered since his first trial, which also includes blood found in Ms. Halbach's car.
This is Avery's second stay in prison.
Two years before he was arrested for the death of Ms. Halbach, he was released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he did not commit.
Netflix's Making a Murderer followed the case for 10 years and sparked questions from viewers about the handling of the case by the Manitowoc County Sheriffs.
The show also followed Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey who was also jailed over the murder.
He remains in prison, despite having his conviction overturned by a local magistrate, only for the federal appeals court to rule against him.
Dassey claims he was coerced into a confession and maintains his innocence.
Avery's appeal will now be heard in a circuit court, where they can decide whether to grant a re-trial or not.