The Wisconsin Court of Appeals handedSteven Avery, who was the subject of the Netflix documentaryMaking a Murderer,a victory inhis effort to have his conviction for the murder ofTeresa Halbachoverturned. The court ruled that Avery's case should be re-examined by a Wisconsin circuit court after his lawyer,Kathleen Zellner, argued that the state violated Avery's constitutional rights by returning Halbach's bones to her family, which prevented them from being subject to DNA testing.
According to theHerald Times Reporter, Zellner filed a motion on January 24th which said that the state acted in bad faith and denied Avery due process by allowing key evidence to be potentially destroyed without notifying his lawyers.
"The state, without notifying Mr. Avery and his attorneys 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," Zellner and attorneySteven Richardswrote in the motion.
Zellner told Newsweekthat the "circuit court can grant a new trial," based upon new evidence she has gathered while researching the case for the second season ofMaking a Murderer.
"The case is being remanded back to the circuit court to conduct proceedings, which can include a hearing. The circuit court can grant a new trial, or if not, back to appellate court who can reverse the conviction and/or grant a new trial. Either way, the State opposed this motion and lost. This evidence has the potential to undo the whole case, so it is a big win."
Photo: Calumet County Jail