November 23, 2016 8:12 pm
Updated: November 23, 2016 8:17 pm

Judge orders scientific testing in ‘Making a Murderer’ case: attorney

Steven Avery is seen in a still image made from video from part of the true crime series "Making a Murderer" in a handout image.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Netflix
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The attorney for Steven Avery, whose case was featured in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, announced Wednesday a judge will allow scientific testing to proceed in his case.

Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner said on Twitter, “Our judge just signed stipulation and order for the scientific testing to proceed in Steven Avery case.”

Zellner also noted the attorney general was working with them to allow the testing.

A few minutes later, she issued another tweet quoting the subject of the Making a Murderer documentary as saying, “it will be a Happy Thanksgiving after all.”

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Last Friday, a federal appeals court in Chicago blocked the release of Brendan Dassey, Avery’s nephew, who was convicted of murder in 2007 for the killing of Teresa Halbach “pending the outcome of the appeal,” but the court did not explain its reasoning.

A U.S. magistrate judge in August ruled the guilty verdict returned by a trial jury in 2007 against Dassey, now 27, was based on a coerced confession he gave as a 16-year-old with a learning disability.

Dassey and Avery were convicted in separate trials of killing Halbach, a freelance photographer, at Avery’s home and scrap yard in 2005. Her charred remains were found in an incineration barrel and a burn pit on Avery’s property, about 80 miles (130 km) north of Milwaukee.

WATCH: Appeals court blocks ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Brendan Dassey’s release from prison

Dassey, then 17, was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse. Avery was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide and unlawful possession of a firearm as a felon. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

The case was the subject of the 10-part documentary Making a Murderer, which questioned the handling of the investigation and the motives of Manitowoc County law enforcement officials.

The documentary, which first went into production 10 years ago, recounted how Avery was convicted of an earlier, unrelated rape and sent to prison in 1985, serving 18 years before DNA evidence exonerated him and he was released.

Avery filed a $36 million federal lawsuit against the county, its former sheriff and district attorney in 2004. A year later, he and Dassey were accused of killing Halbach.

The Emmy-nominated documentary suggested that authorities planted evidence against both defendants, a claim rejected by the current sheriff.

With files from Reuters

 

 

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