Steven Avery’s attorney requests new trial and judge
MANITOWOC — Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery’s attorney, has again asked for a new trial on his conviction for the murder of Teresa Halbach. She also wants a new judge assigned to the case, according to WLUK.
In a 599-page filing, Kathleen Zellner claims “the state spent an enormous amount of time and effort perpetrating a fraud upon Steven Avery’s jury.”
Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were sentenced to life in prison for the 2005 slaying of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery insists police framed him.
According to WLUK, the primary 41-page motion focuses on the state’s theory Halbach was killed on the Avery property and burned in a burn pit there – and that bones found in a nearby gravel pit were not evidence in this case.
“The State, by its actions in returning Manitowoc Gravel Pit bones to the Halbach family in 2011, has implicitly admitted that the bones were not only human but that they belonged to Ms. Halbach. This stunning action and admission undermines the State’s entire theory at trial that was used to convict Mr. Avery and undermines confidence in the integrity of his verdict,” Zellner wrote.
Because of this, the conviction should be overturned and a new trial granted, Zellner argues.
Avery’s trial was presided over by Manitowoc County Judge Patrick Willis. Since his retirement, Sheboygan County Judge Angela Sutkiewicz has handled motions at the trial court level. Zellner also wants her removed from case.
“By virtue of having presided over the prior civil suit filed against Mr. Avery by the Halbach family for the death of Teresa Halbach, Judge Sutkiewicz should recuse herself from the pending post-conviction case, and it should be reassigned to a different judge,” Zellner argues.
The state has not replied to the motion — which was filed Monday. No hearings have been scheduled.
Dassey’s most recent appeal, to the United States Supreme Court, was rejected. He has no current pending appeals.