Protest planned for Friday in Manitowoc in support of Steven Avery, Brendan Dassey

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MANITOWOC COUNTY — Law enforcement officials in Manitowoc County are preparing for protesters on Friday, January 29th, who will gather to support Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. 

WBAY has spoken with organizers of three separate protest groups on Tuesday — all planning to gather in Manitowoc on Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Manitowoc police said they were making preparations for the protest.

“Obviously there are a lot of people that feel very passionately about what they’ve seen on Netflix and if they want to come and exercise their rights they certainly can do that. We’re trying to be as accommodating as possible, as we can be. We realize and we respect their First Amendment constitutional right to do what they are doing. There are a lot of people in Manitowoc County that think Steven Avery is right where he needs to be. We’ve planned for that, so if we do get anti-activists showing up, we are prepared to deal with that.” Captain Larry Zimney with the Manitowoc Police Department told WLUK.

Katie Stamoularas told WBAY she helped organize one of the protests.

“We are here to send a message. We want the criminal justice system to be cleared up,” Stamoularas said.

Stamoularas co-organized the protest for the Facebook group Justice for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

Stamoularas, who lives in the Milwaukee area, told WBAY hotel rooms are already sold out in Manitowoc County and people are flying in from as far away as Oregon and Florida for the event.

Stamoularas told the television station Manitowoc County officials have been extremely cooperative and said a permit wasn’t necessary for the demonstration.

Megan McGuiness is organizing another protest at the exact same time and location. She is part of the Facebook group The Steven Avery Project.

McGuiness, who is from Minnesota, told WLUK her group essentially wants the same thing as Stamoularas’ group.

“Between 100 and 200 people are going out to Manitowoc County courthouse to basically, peacefully protest at 10 a.m. to show our support for Steven and Brendan. ‘Making A Murderer’ opened up our eyes. Whatever your opinion is of Steven Avery, he deserves a fair trial,” McGuiness said.

Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach

Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach

Steven Avery is serving a life sentence, along with his nephew, Brendan Dassey, for the murder of young photographer Teresa Halbach.

Avery was convicted in 1985 in the rape of jogger Penny Beerntsen on a beach near her home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After serving 18 years in prison he was exonerated based on DNA evidence connecting the attack to another man.

Avery was released in 2003 and filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

Two years later, he was arrested in the death of Halbach, a young photographer whose charred remains were found on his family’s auto salvage yard.

This case gained national attention following the release of the Netflix docuseries on December 18th.

Netflix "Making A Murderer"

Netflix “Making A Murderer”

Avery has obtained new legal counsel, and has filed an appeal of his murder conviction.

Avery on January 7th signed and filed an appeal in the case on his own behalf, and that appeal was received by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on January 11th.

Avery said he wants to be released from prison while the Wisconsin Court of Appeals considers his latest challenge to his 2007 murder conviction.

The state has opposed Avery’s motion for release.  Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Thomas Fallon has issued a letter to Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz that says in part, “substantial reasons exist for this court to deny Avery’s motion.”

Chicago lawyer Kathleen Zellner on January 8th announced she is teaming up with the Midwest Innocence Project. The Law Firm of Kathleen T. Zellner and Associates has assumed representation of Avery in all of his pending criminal matters.

She has been posting about the case on Twitter.

Avery has not seen the Netflix docuseries. There is no Netflix in prison, and Avery’s request to view the series was denied.

Steven Avery's letter to FOX6's Ted Perry

Steven Avery’s letter to FOX6’s Ted Perry

Avery late last week sent a letter to FOX6’s Ted Perry. CLICK HERE for more on Avery’s letter to Ted Perry.

As for Brendan Dassey, late last week it was announced he was quietly moved from Green Bay Correctional facility to Columbia County Correctional.

Can’t get enough of the Steven Avery story? Check out the Avery Archive at


  • Crystal

    Manitowac County is a disgrace. I hope all of these lowlife officials go to jail and get the crap beat out of them every day for the rest of their miserable lives. Horrible people who don’t deserve another day of freedom.

    Averys, get some freaking education and get the heck out of Manitowac. Despite your troubles as a family, being poor and uneducated is just stupid and foolish. Being poor and educated will give you a better chance in life. Education is free so embrace it. Your family’s culture needs to make some serious changes.

    • Jackie

      If you believe that, then let me tell you that I am rally a Nigerian Prince from the Nonsensabelivers tribe who came into $10 million USD. All I need is your help in getting it out of the country to a US bank and you can have half! Let me know!

    • Crystal

      You could obviously use some education yourself and yes, public education is free to morons like yourself and people like the Averys who have limited learning capacities. K-12 is free for starters. Books, really???

    • Brent

      Crystal you are a moron! It’s Manitowoc! If you”re going to run your mouth get it right!
      NONE, I REPEAT NONE of you people live here, knew the entire family who is trouble and he was the making of another serial killer!!


      • amy

        You are right we don’t know the kind of people Avery’s are. But you people are so blind with your hatred that you can’t see the injustice. SHAME ON Manitowoc!! and its law enforcers and Shame on the people!!

      • Dave

        Nobody in the modern world wants to live in that backward county. Especially not with that crooked police dept along with the crooked legal system you have.

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    • editor

      Guys guys, you forgot the word “tactical” in the damn headline. Remember, at the end of Jan we’re going to roll out the word “tactical” into the headlines mmkay? Make sure we keep everyone on edge about all these guns and everything…

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    • Jim

      You my friend are a special kind of stupid. No need for me to explain myself because you wouldn’t be able to comprehend anyway.

  • Dominick Allen

    It is not a “false made up documentary” … and they have NEVER admitted to doing any of that. You’re literally making things up to try and prove your point. Ironic you call others sheeple. You’re probably one of those people who thinks all cops are good…news flash…cops are people too and people do bad things. This was the way for the county to save their asses from a multi-million dollar lawsuit. This same “monster” was already falsely accused and charged with a rape that DNA proved he did not commit.

    • Opinion8d

      So you believe that the cops are going to risk their careers and lively hood to save the ‘County’ on a settlement? The money wasn’t going to come out of their pocket. And how many people do you think would need to be involved to pull this off and yet no one has slipped up and spoke about it? Different agencies, municipalities, jurors, prosecutors, lawyers for the defense, the judge ….all of them are in cahoots? And the original conviction of rape was overturned after DNA testing was available -but he was identified by the victim. If you look at the picture of Avery and the actual perpetrator, they look very similar. Yes, it was horrible to spend time in prison for something he didn’t do, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t kill Ms. Hallbach.

    • Dominick Allen

      Yes, and there were a lot of people involved in it. The main prosecuter resigned after a damn sexting scandal …but he’s really trustworthy right? all things considered they had no hard evidence to prove Steven committed the crime. The planted evidence was quite obvious and it’s being said that two of the jurors were connected to that sherrifs department. It shows how corrupt the justice system is and how much you can get away with if you’re in a government position. A small count like that and 36 million dollars on the line…thats a pretty good motive for this set up. Simple as that. “f you look at the picture of Avery and the actual perpetrator, they look very similar” – They highlighted in this documentary how that was also flawed. That department is not a very moral one and they had no business being in Stevens murder case.

  • Shawn

    You are a damn fool!!!!!!!! These people have served a combined 38 years in prison for no reason and you say they are MONSTERS, what about the Manitowoc County officials that get to lay in their bed at night and see their families everyday knowing that some innocent man and kid are suffering. This is ridiculous, any person with an ounce of sense can see the corruption in this case and they had the ultimate motive to do this because they were on the hook for 36 Million Dollars. I hope these guys get out and sue again for more money and prosecute those officials involved in this Shoddy camouflaged conspired concealment of the truth. JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amy

    There are also people like myself who, after viewing the documentary, read the trial transcripts, checked out exhibits, read police interviews and informed ourselves about what actually happened in these cases. You should do the same. The level of incompetence and impropriety is appalling. No American should stand for what happened in these cases. It’s disappointing how Ken Kratz and his sleazy press conferences soiled the opinions of locals, particularly in reading Brendan’s false confession and never even using that at Avery’s trial! One person killed Teresa Haibach, according to Kratz, and that one person was Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey? I hope you are willing to open your mind and read the trial transcripts and learn what really happened.

  • Common Sense

    Dominick Allen,
    If you think that is country is so bad, let me suggest a one-way ticket to anywhere else. I’m sure that you will find a better place to live. Nut Job!!!

  • Troy Harshmanfrees

    Why not investigate Ken Kratz. He had a sexual addiction, drug addiction, and other personality problems. He could of covered up his sexual addiction for many years. Strange how the depositions were going to take place then this woman came up missing and its obvious she could have been watched and murdered to cover up the corruption of the police force and judge. So sad our judicial system operates like this.

  • Brent

    NONE, I REPEAT NONE of you people live here, knew the entire family who are all trouble and he was the making of another serial killer!!


    • Kimberly

      people seriously how can you not look at that man in eyes and not see a monster let’s put all the official crap aside, before I ever read anything to make any kind of decision or judgment just looking at that man in the face made every hair on my neck stand up I’m sorry for those of you who feel he is not guilty cuz you are sadly mistaken

      • amy

        So now we are judging people coz of their monster looking eyes? Sadly, it doest work like that. But for Manitowoc people, that is good enough. So why bother with trial? Why not just hang the people who have “monster looking eye”

    • David

      Dave – Everyone in here who believes he is innocent give points as to why they think he is. That is what intelligent people do. People who just throw out insults without giving their side of an argument is what children do or people with lower IQ’s. That response is something i would have expected from Brandon D.

  • Jamal

    Manitowc County is downright pathetic! All those police officers should rot in ducking hell. I’m for the innocence of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.

  • Hcenteno

    Why was there no change of venue?? Steve was already guilty to the entire community and surrounding communities. Manitowoc county sheriff dept. =CORRUPTION !! They’re the bullies on the play ground picking on the under privileged. It’s disgusting.

  • Luke

    There is definitely room for reasonable doubt in that case. The main issue for me was the lack of blood in the garage and trailer and Teresa’s hair in the back of the car (the body *had* to have been moved after the murder, but from where and to where?). Even if you think Avery probably did it, that’s not enough for a conviction.

    • Regina Carr

      Except what we think doesn’t matter. The Jury are the finders of fact, not the media, not us, the Jury. The defense had reasonable explanations for everything, and yes it all came out at trial, tampered evidence, etc. The Jury didn’t buy what the defense was selling, that fact that a majority of the public doesn’t buy what the prosecution was selling in a 10 hour docu series is really not relevant. Having stated all that, I think Avery deserves a fair trial. I remain unconvinced the outcome would be any different.

  • Kellie Sustache, CIV Contractor

    I can only pray that this man will one day get, at the very least, a FAIR trial. The first one was so corrupted by even as far as the FBI! Praying for him & his nephew.

  • Don't Base Your Opinions On Just This Series

    Everyone needs to read up on all of the actual evidence and transcripts on this case. If all you are doing is trusting this docuseries and not getting educated on all of the court documents and evidence then you are not getting the full story and are not educating yourselves the same way you are calling out those who believe he is guilty. People think he is guilty because of the tremendous amount of evidence they do have against him (most of which the Netflix series left out). The defense team never had a single way to disprove anything the prosecution had against Avery. Why didn’t the ever try to counter any of the evidence with their own testing or demonstrations? They couldn’t. End of story because they had nothing. The only thing they had working for them is that yes, there was some injustice in how his conviction played out and yes, the police probably did play some role in making sure he was implicated for his crimes since people already empathized with him for spending so many years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit but he is still completely guilty of the crime he was convicted. Everyone needs to leave this poor county alone and the people that live there because majority of the people that live there do believe he is guilty. We don’t live there, they do and they are the ones that know what he and some of his family members are like. The people of that county are not brainwashed and if you believe that then you need to do further research.

    • Hcenteno

      I’d be more than happy to read all transcript to come to with my own opinion. Please send them to me. There are so many missing links to the states accusations. Manitowoc = CORRUPTION #freesteveaveryandntandondassey

    • Kev Schissel

      where was the bleach or cleaning solution he used to clean up the blood in the garage? did anyone searching the scene make a note of a strong odor of bleach? was there any evidence of a clean-up? where did he dismember the body parts? how come no one presented any proof that a clean-up even happened? no bleach, no blood? can’t have it both ways…

      • Kathy

        Brendan did testify to using bleach and he and his mom even admit that his clothes were covered in bleach when he returned home that evening.

    • amy

      I don’t know if he did it or not. But he didn’t get a fair trial. And what happened with the 16 year old kid, was just sad. The only thing that kid is guilty of is being Intellectually challenged. I hope they can get a fair trail out of the county.

  • The Voice of Reason

    Why languish in the cold? The courthouse is a public building. Just have thew protests in there.

  • Isaac Daly

    Wow. That is the most educated and well expressed comment I have read about this entire series and situation. Excelent work and I hope others read this and realize the true purpose of the docuseries is that even if Avery is guilty, that the Judicial system should not be able to get away with way they handled these Avery cases.

    • William Alexander

      Hi Isaac,

      Thanks for your kind words. I was just recently elected as president of the law society for my university, and one of the first things we are going to do as a community is tear down this case, looking at procedural errors and due process violations. If nothing else, this case can serve as a primer for how the criminal courts should not operate in our country.

      The filmmakers even made it a point to say that they had no interest in relitigating the Avery case, but that they made this film to get the societal conversation started about what is wrong with our system. We have a system that allows poor families like the Avery’s who have just about every judicial due process right denied to them but that also allows police who murder innocent black children to walk free. How can anyone be so blind to this, and make a comment such as, “you can’t REALLY believe that the cops could’ve killed Teresa, now can you?” Why is that so hard to believe? Ask Michael Brown’s parents and the whole community of Ferguson if its believable that police officers can commit murder. Ask the families of Sgt. Drew Petersen’s dead wives if its believable that police officer commit murder. What’s so hard to believe? In this case, we have a 36-million-dollar motive for framing Mr. Avery. We see cases all the time where people kill their spouses of 10, 15, 20 years in order to collect a measly six-figure insurance payout.

      I’m not saying that I agree with any assertion that Manitowoc County had any part in this, I’m just simply saying that the notion that police officers do not commit murder is absolute hogwash. Police officers are human beings, plagued with the same diseases and mental aberrations as the rest of society.

      So, I think that the filmmakers did their job in getting this much-needed conversation started. I just think that we need to get to a point, as cultured, respectful human beings, where we can take a look at the viewpoint of another without taking it so personally, just because it may differ slightly or drastically from our own. We have always progressed as a species when we have had meaningful debate about polarizing topics. This is a topic that we have to fix, and that’s all there is to it.

      Thanks again for your kind words, Isaac.


  • Jamal

    This guy actually knows what’s going on. He understands that the police officers did to something wrong. He put the nail on the coffin for all of you that think he is guilty.

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