The Steven Avery saga continues as the Making a Murderer subject is denied a new trial. Though the second season of Making A Murderer is still a few months away, Wisconsin Judge Angela Sutkiewicz has already provided fresh material for season 3.
As the star and subject of the hit Netflix series, Avery is currently serving a life sentence for the 2005 assault, murder, and mutilation of photographer Teresa Halbach. While Avery, his lawyer, and many members of the public have feverishly urged a retrial, the Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge ruled that Avery would be denied his request on the grounds that no new evidence had merited it.
As reported by EW, Judge Sutkiewicz said in her ruling:
"Given the totality of evidence submitted at trial and the ambiguous conclusions stated in the experts' reports, it cannot be said that a reasonable probability exists that a different result would be reached at a new trial based on these reports.”
Avery’s defense attorney, Kathleen Zellner, had previously filed a 1,272 page motion in June that reinforced Avery’s innocence amid claims that he had been railroaded as a result of false testimony and planted evidence. Avery is no stranger to such bizarre legal circumstances, as Making A Murderer so captivatingly explores.
Related: Making A Murderer, One Year Later
The award-winning series examines over 30 years of Avery’s troubled life, including a wrongful imprisonment that saw him serve 18 years in jail before being released in 2003. Thanks to newfound DNA technology, Avery was exonerated and set free.
Beyond the events of the 1980s, Making A Murderer focuses the majority of its episodes on the murder of Halbach. Shortly after Avery was set free in 2003, he found himself back in jail following the disappearance of Halbach on October 31, 2005. The photographer’s last recorded appointment was with Avery, and an abundance of incriminating evidence quickly landed Avery behind bars with a life sentence and no possibility of parole. Though he and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were charged with Halbach's death, Avery alleged that he had been framed for the murder.
While he failed in his latest attempt at earning a new trial, Avery's attorney remains confident that his innocence will still be proven.
“We have additional test results and witness affidavits…the scientific testing is not completed, [and] we remain optimist that Mr. Avery’s conviction will be vacated.”
As Rolling Stone reports, Zellner claims the most recent scientific results were still under review, and that Judge Sutkiewicz failed to factor them into her ruling. Zellner claims that the prosecutor from the Attorney General’s office was equally surprised by the judge’s decision, citing their, “face to face meeting on September 18, at their office in Madison, Wisconsin [where they revealed] three significant new witnesses on new Brady violations. Brady violations are the most frequent basis for convictions being vacated.”
With the second season of Making A Murderer en route, a growing number of petitions for Avery’s release, and newfound evidence yet to be reviewed, this won’t be the last we hear from the mystery in Manitowoc County.