After the first season of Making a Murderer was released on Netflix a few years back the audience was relatively split down the middle on the guilt of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. There were those that saw the slanted documentary and were immediately convinced of Avery's innocence. And then there were those that were on the ground in Wisconsin during the trials and claimed that it was a slam dunk guilty as charged.
Then season two came out and many of those opinions shifted with the introduction of a new theory of guilt potentially pointing towards someone else.
Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner has a new theory concerning some of the bone evidence that was mentioned in season one, particularly the discovery of human pelvic bones pulled from the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit. The bones were supposedly in similar condition to those found in the Avery burn pit and thought to have been those of Teresa Halbach.
Zellner was pushing to get the bones tested to confirm that they were human. If they were positively identified as that of Theresa Halbach's it tears apart the states case that she was killed and burned in Steven's burn pit. That motion was denied by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals earlier this year.
Kathleen Zellner claims that the state has misrepresented the whereabouts of these bones and not disclosing the fact that the bones were returned to the Halbach family which would have prevented the evidence from being preserved for any appeal. This information was withheld from Avery's representation at the time and was disclosed to Zellner in an accidental phone call and voicemail left on Zellner's machine from the state's representation confirming the existence and whereabouts of the bone fragments.
Here is what Zellner wrote in the appeal...
“The State, without notifying Mr. Avery and his attorneys and during the pendency of Mr. Avery's direct appeal, caused material and potentially exculpatory evidence to be transmitted to the Halbach family for its potential destruction by cremation or burial,” she wrote. “The State by its actions has implicitly admitted that the bones are not only human, but that they belong to Ms. Halbach. The State cannot credibly argue that it returned animal bones to the Halbach family for burial or cremation. The State's actions demand that further proceedings be conducted to determine if Mr. Avery's due process rights have been violated and if the State acted in bad faith in returning the suspected human bones to the Halbach family.
Fast forward to today, and Kathleen Zellner tweeted the following...
This is HUGE NEWS. It means that Avery will get a new hearing with the circuit court in Wisconsin. Here is the official ruling that got things going right away...
We are delighted the appellate court granted the motion to remand to the circuit court to supplement the record with our new evidence that the State has destroyed material evidence by giving the bones back to the Halbach family. We believe Mr. Avery will be granted a new trial for this serious violation of both Wisconsin and federal law."
So now Zellner and her team are stacking up the claims and getting ready to present, it sounds like she's up to the task.
A date has yet to be set for this hearing.