‘Making a Murderer:’ Kathleen Zellner Asks for New Trial for Steven Avery in Wisconsin

Avery was previously denied a new trial by a Sheboygan County Circuit Court judge

Last Updated: October 14, 2019 @ 11:44 PM

Kathleen Zellner, the lawyer for “Making a Murderer” subject Steven Avery, has filed a new brief at the Wisconsin Appeals court to grant Avery a new trial or evidentiary hearing in the murder case of Teresa Halbach.

According to WBAY, the attorney filed the 135-page document with the Wisconsin Appeals Court District II on Monday. In the brief, she presented 10 “complex legal issues” that she asked the court to consider, including that the circuit court “abused its discretion” in hearing Avery’s requests for additional scientific testing, that it failed to address Avery’s claims that he had ineffective counsel at trial, and that they made a mistake by not granting Avery’s supplemental motion regarding the human bones found in the Manitowoc County gravel pit. The entire brief can be read here.

“We are thrilled to have Steven’s brief filed and we look forward to the first unbiased, fair and competent review of these issues,” Zellner tweeted on Monday.

The appeal moved to Wisconsin after Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Angela Sutkiewicz denied Avery a new trial last September.

Avery was previously denied a new trial in October 2017 by Sutkiewicz, who ruled that Avery had failed “to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice.” Zellner said she planned to present new evidence to the court for a request of a new trial after it was rejected by a state circuit judge.

Avery and his team argued that evidence that he murdered photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005 was planted. He and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted of the crime. Avery was sentenced to life in prison, and the trial was extensively covered in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer.”

A Federal Appeals court upheld a ruling that Dassey’s confession was involuntary and that investigators violated Dassey’s rights. However, in June, the Supreme Court declined to hear his case. Earlier this month, Dassey’s legal team launched a campaign to persuade the governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers to grant him clemency. According to the petition, Dassey is either asking for a pardon, which would result in his release from prison, or a commutation of his remaining sentence. This is one of the last remaining legal options available to Dassey.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has until Nov. 13 to respond to the brief. A spokesperson for the department has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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