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‘Making A Murderer’s Steven Avery Wins Appeal, Could Have Second Trial

Making A Murderer subject Steven Avery will have his case re-examined by a Wisconsin circuit court, his lawyer Kathleen Zellner revealed Monday. Avery officially won his motion to appeal on Monday, when the Wisconsin Court of Appeals filed their decision.

Avery was found guilty of the murder of Teresa Halbach, who he claims he did not kill. He is currently serving life in prison. If he is exonerated, it will be his second extended prison sentence for a crime he claims he did not commit.

Zellner told Newsweek it's a big win for Avery. "The appellate court granted our motion to supplement the record with the evidence the bones were destroyed," she explained. "The case is being remanded back to the circuit court to conduct proceedings, which can include a hearing. The circuit court can grant a new trial, or if not, back to appellate court who can reverse the conviction and/or grant a new trial. Either way, the State opposed this motion and lost. This evidence has the potential to undo the whole case, so it is a big win."

Avery, through Zellner, filed a motion to appeal based on a collection of possible human bones, which was said to be in the possession of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. When Zellner filed a motion to have the bones tested for DNA, she found the bones had been returned to Teresa Halbach’s family. According to the state, they had never been tested for DNA.

Zellner filed a motion for appeal, claiming the return of the bones constituted a Youngblood vs. Arizona violation, meaning potentially crucial evidence in Avery’s case was kept from further testing by handing it back to the Halbach family.

The Court of Appeals agreed. “IT IS ORDERED that this appeal is remanded forthwith to the circuit court to permit Steven A. Avery to pursue a supplemental postconviction motion raising “claims for relief in connection with the State’s violation of WIS. STAT. § 968.205 and Youngblood v. Arizona,” the approval read.

Zellner briefly celebrated on her Twitter account. “Avery Update: We Won!!!!!! Back to the circuit court,” she wrote, along with the hashtag #TruthWins.

Now, evidence surrounding the bones can be submitted, and could result in a second trial. A new trial would mean Avery’s team can present new evidence that has been discovered since his first trial. Zellner has come up with a steady theory, which names other possible killers of Halbach, as seen in Making A Murderer Part 2.

Some of the evidence Zellner could present relies on forensic testing, from a bullet found in Avery’s garage to blood splatter and flakes found in Halbach’s Toyota Rav4. Zellner also told Newsweek about a collection of evidence not seen in Making A Murderer Part 2 in November, including information on her lead suspect, Bobby Dassey.

Zellner has 14 days to file any “supplemental postconviction motions.” 

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