The attorney for convicted murderer Steven Avery has asked a Wisconsin court to reconsider its ruling that denied her client a new trial. The lawyer cites new and explosive evidence that could potentially exonerate Avery in the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach—a case that was depicted in the popular Netflix docu-series Making A Murderer.
According to Newsweek, attorney Kathleen Zellner filed a 54-page motion on behalf of Avery on Monday. The document included testimonies and reports that contradict the prosecution’s theory that Halbach never left Avery’s property before she died.
Key points in the motion include:
- On November 6, 2005, Bobby Dassey’s older brother Bryan Dassey told Wisconsin Department of Justice officials that Bobby had told him in the days prior that he saw Halbach leave the Averys’ property. At trial, Bobby testified he last saw Halbach walking toward Avery’s trailer—reportedly the last time she was seen alive. This evidence, lawyers say, was not explored in the original trial and “would have cast the State’s case in a completely different light.”
- In an affidavit to Avery’s lawyers, Bryan Dassey more recently said: “I distinctly remember Bobby telling me, ‘Steven could not have killed her because I saw her leave the property on October 31, 2005.’”
- A new witness has come forward to say they saw Halbach’s RAV4 ”parked at the turnaround at State Highway 147 and the East Twin River Bridge” on both November 4 and November 5, 2005. The car was found on the Avery property on November 5. The witness says they reported seeing the car to Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department Sergeant Andy Colborn, but the officer did not prepare a report documenting the conversation. The lawyers say, “The witness’s observation of the RAV4 would have destroyed the State’s theory that the victim’s vehicle never left the Avery property after her arrival on October 31.”
- New evidence allegedly connects Halbach’s ex-boyfriend Ryan Hillegas with the crime scene. Hillegas was in possession of her day planner, from which he tore a page, giving to a friend of Halbach’s, who, in turn, handed it over to the police on November 3. Denise Coakley claims she spoke to Halbach on the phone at 11.35 a.m. on October 31—the day she died. Halbach was driving her RAV4 vehicle at the time and made notes in her day planner. The attorneys say this is evidence the day planner was in the vehicle when Halbach was killed and the fact that it ended up in Hillegas’ possession would have linked him to the crime scene.
- Forensic testing of a bullet fragment found in Avery’s garage, which is alleged to have entered and exited Halbach’s skull, contained “no particles consistent with bone,” the attorneys allege. There were, however, wood particles identifiable on the bullet, which supports an “alternate theory that the bullet struck a wooden object and not a human skull.”
You can read the full motion here.
Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted in 2007 in connection to the murder of Halbach, who was killed after she visited the Avery Salvage Yard to photograph a vehicle on Oct. 31, 2005.