NewsLocal News


Steven Avery's legal team criticizes Wisconsin authorities in new court filing

Judge again denies new trial for Steven Avery
Posted at 6:58 PM, Feb 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 13:03:14-04

In a new court filing, Steven Avery's legal team, led by Kathleen Zellner, criticizes the State of Wisconsin over opposition to a new court motion.

A motion filed last week accuses the State of Wisconsin of violating Steven Avery’s rights when it turned over bone evidence to Teresa Halbach’s family.

Steven Avery was convicted in 2007 of murdering Teresa Halbach, though he maintains his innocence. Avery’s trial and conviction were the subject of a popular Netflix series, Making a Murderer.

According to the motion, in the original trial, the prosecution argued that Teresa Halbach was murdered and mutilated in Avery's garage and burn pit. In his closing argument, the motion says, prosecutor Ken Kratz told the jury that the location of the bones in Avery's burn pit was the “most important” evidence that Avery murdered Halbach.

On the other hand, the motion says Avery’s defense counsel, Jerome Buting, pointed out the importance of bones found in what is referred to as the “Manitowoc Gravel Pit”, which the motion says was located off Avery’s property. However, it’s not clear if those bones found in the Manitowoc Gravel Pit were Halbach's or if those bones were even human.

The motion states that if those bone fragments found in the Manitowoc pit were found to be Halbach's, then it could prove that Avery didn’t kill Halbach. Avery’s legal team filed a motion in December to test the bones, but that motion was denied.

In last week’s motion, however, Avery’s legal team argues that they discovered a previously undisclosed police report filed in 2011. The motion says the report shows authorities returned the suspected human bones from the Manitowoc Quarry to the Halbach family.

The motion argued that the State did not notify Avery and his attorneys during the appeals process that potential evidence had been handed over to the Halbach family to be possibly destroyed through burial or cremation. The motion argues that Avery’s due process rights were “per se violated”.

The State opposed the motion filed last week, prompting a reply by Steven Avery’s attorneys, which was filed Friday. The reply accuses the State of carrying on a “charade of concealment”.