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‘Making a Murderer': Steven Avery Legal Team Gets Shake-Up

A series of legal filings in the last week swaps former local counsel Tricia Bushnell with new attorney

The legal team representing Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” has undergone a shake-up, with former local counsel Tricia J. Bushnell stepping aside for a new Manitowoc-based attorney on Thursday.

In a motion filed in Wisconsin Circuit Court, Manitowoc County, Bushnell entered “her appearance as associate counsel, joining Kathleen T. Zellner and Douglas H. Johnson, and local counsel Steven G. Richards for Defendant Steven Avery.”

Johnson is part of Zellner’s legal team, while Richards is a Manitowoc County-based attorney who specializes in criminal cases. According to Justin Scott, a spokesperson for the Midwest Innocence Project, the swap made sense as Bushnell is based in Missouri while Richards is on the ground in Wisconsin.

“Tricia is not leaving the team, her role just changed,” Scott told TheWrap. “The team is evolving by adding Richards and his local expertise.”

Last week, Avery filed a motion asking for Richards to “appear as local counsel in this case” and for Bushnell to “withdraw from this case.” Fans of “Making a Murderer” and supporters of Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who were convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005, were up in arms about the legal team shake-up given the recent progress in Dassey’s case and a motion filed to request DNA evidence in the case against Avery.

“Making a Murderer” chronicled the murder case of the Wisconsin photographer in 2005 and the subsequent convictions of both Avery and Dassey in 2007.