Judge denies new trial for Steven Avery

Oct. 3 (UPI) — A Wisconsin judge on Tuesday denied Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery’s request for a new trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Avery filed the request in June arguing his 2007 murder conviction was based on planted evidence and false testimony.

Avery and Brendan Dassey, his nephew, were found guilty in the 2005 murder of Halbach, a photographer. The case was the subject of a Netflix television documentary, a second season of which is pending. Avery and Dassey have maintained their innocence of the crime.

Sheboygan County Judge Angela Sutkiewicz ruled, though, that “the defendant has failed to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice. As such, no further consideration will be given to this issue.”

Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, told WBAY-TV in Green Bay, Wis., that she plans to file a new petition because she has new test results and witness affidavits.

“The scientific testing is not completed. We remain optimistic that Mr. Avery’s conviction will be vacated,” she said.

In the original motion, Zellner wrote that “Avery’s post-conviction counsel have completed scientific testing and conducted an extensive reinvestigation of his case, which demonstrates that planted evidence and false testimony were used to convict Mr. Avery of first-degree intentional homicide of Teresa Halbach.”

The motion said Avery’s trial attorneys lacked experts and conducted an inadequate investigation in failing to prove that evidence was planted. The motion also said the district attorney was aware that Dassey’s “confession was fabricated” and that a damaged bullet found at the crime scene did not penetrate Halbach. Defense attorneys also said a piece of evidence found in Dassey’s bedroom, a key, was planted by sheriffs.

In June, a federal court of appeals ruled that Dassey had been coerced into confessing to Halbach’s murder as a teenager and that he should be released from prison. The court later determined he should remain in prison while Wisconsin appeals the overturning of his conviction.

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