It’s the news Making a Murderer fans and Steven Avery supporters have been waiting for: Avery’s lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, has revealed that she and her legal team have a new suspect in the Teresa Halbach murder.
Netflix’s Making a Murderer is a 10-part documentary series that follows the case of Wisconsin native Avery. He is serving a life sentence (without the possibility for parole) for the murder of Halbach and illegally possessing a firearm. 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 US$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, Brendan Dassey, behind bars, and alleges the investigators and police in the case planted evidence and otherwise manipulated the outcome of the trial.
Now there seems to be a ray of light for Avery. Zellner previously said that he has an “airtight alibi,” but with the addition of potential suspects, this is the closest he’s gotten to exoneration since he was put back in prison. The legal team, which is working pro bono, is hoping to file an appeal soon, but is compiling as much information as possible first.
“Half of my exoneration cases have led to the apprehension of the real killer,” Zellner said. “I’ve probably solved way more murder cases than most homicide detectives.”
Zellner is focusing on one suspect in particular. The mystery Arizona man (Zellner did not reveal his name) was arrested in December 2015 for crimes that were sexual in nature. Interestingly, Halbach called this man on two occasions shortly before her death.
Manitowoc County police never looked into the suspect, and Zellner believes it’s further evidence that Avery was framed.
She also believes that police did very inadequate research into Halbach’s past and love life. “Women who have bad judgment about men are murdered,” she added.
WATCH: Steven Avery’s lawyer says case has “hallmarks of a wrongful conviction”