Kansas City attorney helps file appeal for new evidence testing in ‘Making a Murderer' case

Posted at 5:01 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 18:41:24-04

A Kansas City attorney for Wisconsin inmate Steven Avery filed a motion Friday seeking new testing of evidence in his murder conviction. His case was featured in the Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer.” 

Tricia Bushnell of the Midwest Innocence Project in Kansas City helped file an appeal in Avery’s case on Friday.

The appeal asks for new scientific testing of evidence, with the defense claiming the evidence used to convict Avery was planted. Click here to read the motion.

“We’re at a rate of exoneration of one every three days. That’s not happening because there’s more innocent people incarcerated, that’s happening because there's more resources to get folks out,” Bushnell told 41 Action News last month.

41 Action News first interviewed Bushnell about Avery’s case in July. She used to work for the Wisconsin Innocence Project and joined Avery’s legal team along with Kathleen Zellner of Chicago to try to free Avery from prison.

According to the Associated Press,  Zellner told reporters outside the Manitowoc County courthouse Friday that she wants to date blood and DNA found at the scene to see if it was planted. She promised the results will show that Avery isn't guilty and that someone else killed Teresa Halbach, although she declined to say who did it.

"The most reassuring thing is that we are going to get to the bottom of who killed Teresa Halbach," Zellner said. "And we firmly believe that we will establish it was not Steven Avery."

“You have to prove either the evidence against him isn’t correct or isn’t adequate or the evidence shows their innocence is overwhelming. Sometimes that means you point to someone else, sometimes it means that in some cases for example, you really solidify an alibi,” Bushnell told 41 Action News.

Avery's conviction is based partly on testimony from his nephew Brendan Dassey who kept changing his story. Just this month, a federal judge overturned Dassey's conviction for the same 2005 murder.

Bushnell has told us Avery's conviction should also be overturned.

“If we’re litigating, we believe someone is innocent,” Bushnell said. “I think there’s also a very strong misconception that we take just any case and the reality is we don’t. It’s a very long process.”

Avery previously served 18 years in prison for rape until DNA testing proved he didn't do it. This time he's already spent a decade locked up for murder.

In 2010, a federal judge denied Avery’s request for a new murder trial, and Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has declined to review his case. 

The Associated Press reports the Wisconsin Department of Justice is handling post-conviction activity in Avery's case on behalf of county prosecutors. A spokesman for the agency didn't immediately respond to an email Friday afternoon.



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