Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery has spent a large portion of his life behind bars, and with his lawyer Kathleen Zellner asking for more time to work on his appeal, it looks like he’ll be in there for at least three more months.
Zellner asked for a 90-day extension a mere four days before the appeal brief’s due date, May 31, making the new final submission date Aug. 29, 2016.
“As noted by the Manitowoc County Clerk, the record in this court is ‘considerable’,” read Zellner’s request. “Although counsel has worked diligently on this case, additional responsibilities, as set forth below, require additional time to complete the brief in this case.”
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 Teresa 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 DNA evidence in 2003.
Two years later, Avery brought a US$36-million lawsuit against Manitowoc County, Wis., for the wrongful conviction. The documentary 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.
Aside from the delay request statement, Zellner has not publicly given any other reasons for the holdup.
Since joining (and taking the lead on) his defence, Zellner has been working to poke holes in the prosecution’s case against Avery. Not only did she state that she and her team have an “airtight alibi” for Avery, but they claim to even have a new suspect in the murder of Halbach.
Manitowoc County police never looked into the suspect, and Zellner believes it’s further evidence that Avery was framed.
“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.”