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Wisconsin Court Rejects Petition for Review By ‘Making a Murderer’ Subject Steven Avery

Making a Murderer, Steven Avery, Theresa Halbach

Wisconsin Court Rejects Petition for Review By ‘Making a Murderer’ Subject Steven Avery

The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a petition by Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery requesting that the court review his conviction for killing Theresa Halbach in 2005, the Associated Press reported.

Avery asked the court to review three issues: failure to disclose evidence, the destruction of bone fragments, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The court denied Avery’s petition for review without commenting.

Avery, 59, is serving life in prison for killing Halbach, 25, on their property after she went to the Avery family salvage yard on Halloween to photograph a vehicle that Avery planned to sell.

Avery initially made headlines in 2003 when he was released from prison after spending nearly two decades behind bars for being wrongfully convicted of rape. Just two years later, Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were charged with killing Halbach,according to a Q&A from AP.

The case became the focus of the popular Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer that raised questions about the convictions of Avery and Dassey.

According to the Q&A, the documentary strongly suggested the possibility that Manitowoc County sheriff’s deputies planted evidence against Avery and Dassey, including the key found in Avery’s bedroom and blood found in the victim’s vehicle. Sheriff Robert Hermann said “they did not plant evidence.”

Authorities who worked on the case said the series was slanted and omitted crucial facts that led to Avery and Dassey being found guilty in the death of Halbach, according to the Q&A.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected a request by Steven Avery to review his conviction for killing a young photographer in 2005, a case that became the focus of a popular Netflix series “Making a Murderer.” Above, Avery listens to testimony in the courtroom at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton, Wisconsin, on March 13, 2007.
Morry Gash/AP Photo

People who worked on the cases accused the filmmakers of leaving out key pieces of evidence and presenting a biased view of what happened. The creators of the docuseries raised questions about the convictions and the filmmakers defended their work and supported calls to set Avery and Dassey free.

Dassey was 16 when he confessed to detectives that he helped his uncle rape and kill Halbach. A judge threw out the confession in 2016, ruling it was coerced by investigators using deceptive tactics. That ruling was later overturned by a federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case.

Avery has been fighting unsuccessfully for years to have his conviction overturned.

“We are not surprised since the Wisconsin Supreme Court only grants 1-2% of petitions for review. Mr. Avery has many options including proceeding to the U.S Supreme Court, and then federal district,” Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said in a statement.

“Since the appellate court only ruled on 50% of the issues raised we will be filing a new petition with the circuit court at the appropriate time.”

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