Steven Avery of ‘Making a Murderer’ files appeal, says jury was tainted
Steven Avery, the subject of the Netflix crime docuseries Making a Murderer, has filed an appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, asking the judge to toss out his conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. He wants the judge to declare a mistrial.
According to TMZ, Avery believes the jury was tainted, and says that one juror in particular was out to convict him, repeatedly saying things like Avery is “f–king guilty.” Avery says the one juror also told the other jurors, “If you can’t handle it why don’t you tell [the judge] and just leave.”
It’s not immediately known how Avery heard the jurors or knew what they said to each other.
Avery says in new legal documents made available to TMZ that the search that ultimately produced incriminating evidence, including blood stains and the key to Halbach’s vehicle, was illegal. Avery asserts that the scope of the search exceeded the limits set by the search warrant. He believes that Halbach’s vehicle was not properly sealed at the scene, allowing police to potentially plant evidence to convict him.
Making a Murderer is a 10-part documentary series that follows the case of 53-year-old Wisconsin native Avery. He is serving a life sentence (without the possibility for parole) for the rape and murder of Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer. Avery, who had previously been jailed for 18 years for a sexual assault in 1985, was exonerated in that case by newly discovered DNA evidence in 2003.
Two years later, Avery brought a $36-million lawsuit against Manitowoc County, Wis., for the wrongful conviction. The series calls into question the investigation and trial that put Avery and his nephew, Dassey, behind bars, and alleges that the investigators and police in the case planted evidence and otherwise manipulated the outcome of the trial.
Avery filed the appeal himself.
On Monday, Jan. 11, Fox News received a statement from Kathleen Zellner, a Chicago lawyer who specializes in wrongful conviction cases, which indicated that she feels confident Avery’s conviction will be overturned.
Zellner agreed to represent Avery last Friday. She told Fox that she’s teaming up with the Midwest Innocence Project, and that she’s not doing interviews about this case right now.
Last week, The White House denied an online petition asking for a full pardon for Avery and Dassey, claiming it didn’t have the judicial power to do so.
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