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Steven Avery's lawyer just made a huge breakthrough in the Making a Murderer case

Independent testing of key evidence can now begin

Steven Avery's lawyer just made a huge breakthrough in the Making a Murderer case
25 November 2016

Could this be it? Could this finally be the game changer that frees ‘murderer’ Steven Avery? Because it sure feels like the biggest breakthrough yet.

Avery, who’s currently serving a life sentence for the 2007 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, has remained in the spotlight ever since becoming the subject of the smash hit Netflix documentary Making a Murderer thanks to the tireless work of his new lawyer Kathleen Zellner. And it seems like all her hard work could be about to pay off.

Back in August, Zellner filed a motion claiming that investigators framed Avery (the key was there all along? Pull the other one, mate!) and is dead set on proving it using sophisticated DNA testing that was not available at the time of the trial.

Zellner had told ABC News that she was “going to take the mystery out of this case" by requesting carbon testing be done on the blood found in Halbach's vehicle, which Avery's attorneys have always argued had been placed in the car to frame him. "This new test has the ability to tell us how old the blood is. If the blood is from 1996, it was planted," she said.

Well, looks like that test is about to happen. Just weeks after news broke that Avery’s nephew and convicted ‘accomplice’ Brendan Dassey is to be released from prison, Zellner says an agreement to start independent scientific testing on this key evidence has been signed.

"It's encouraging that the Attorney General's Office was so cooperative and helpful in expediting these tests," Zellner told a reporter from Avery’s hometown newspaper, the Herald Times Reporter. "Our experience in our other exonerations is that's the best attitude in working toward trying to discover anything.” 

According to the paper, these are the six critical items of evidence that will undergo testing as part of the new court order:

  1. Blood flakes recovered from the floor near the center console of Halbach’s RAV4.
  1. Bloodstain cutting from the driver’s seat.
  1. Bloodstain cutting from passenger’s seat.
  1. Swab of the RAV 4 ignition area where blood was found.
  1. Swab of bloodstain taken from the rear passenger’s door.
  1. Swab of bloodstain taken from a CD case found in vehicle.

Additionally, three other items of evidence used to secure Avery’s arrest and eventual conviction are subject to the new testing order.

  1. A vial of blood said to be a sample of Avery’s blood from 1996. This was the vial of blood that Avery’s murder trial defense lawyers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting came across during their pretrial case research inside the clerk’s office at the Manitowoc County Courthouse.
  1. A spare key for Halbach’s vehicle found in Avery’s bedroom by Manitowoc County Sheriff’s deputies James Lenk and Andrew Colborn.
  1. The swab from the hood latch of Halbach’s RAV4 that later generated a DNA profile for Avery (Zellner has said she wants to determine if the hood latch DNA swab was fabricated from other known DNA samples that were in the possession of Calumet and Manitowoc County law enforcement).

Feels like this thing’s about to be busted wide open at long last. 


Pic: ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection/REX/Shutterstock