MAKING A Murderer’s Steven Avery has won the right to appeal against his murder sentence on the basis on new bone evidence.
Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are serving life in prison for the 2005 murder of Halbach in which she was kidnapped then taken to his home, sexually assaulted and tortured before being shot.
Getty Images – Getty Kathleen Zellner says bone evidence could clear Steven Avery
The two men then burned her body and attempted to destroy the charred remains, according to the prosecution case.
But Avery is fighting a long-running and high-profile legal battle to get his murder conviction quashed.
His lawyer Kathleen Zellner now claims if bone fragments found at a third location are those of Halbach then it undermines the prosecutor’s assertion that she was killed at Avery’s property.
She wants the bones DNA tested to see if they are Halbach’s, Fox11 reported.
A key part of the appeal is that investigators failed to tell the defence the bones had been returned to the Halbach family, in violation of his rights to due process.
In her submission she argued the state of Wisconsin “by its actions has implicitly admitted that the bones are not only human, but that they belong to Ms. Halbach”.
Zellner said she was “delighted” the Wisconsin State Court of Appeals has agreed to hear a motion to discuss new evidence.
“We believe Mr. Avery will be granted a new trial for this serious violation of both Wisconsin and federal law.”
Zellner maintains a 2011 report shows bone fragments were returned to the Halbach family, but the defence wasn’t notified.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice last week said bones kept in the case were returned to the Halbach family.
Avery is currently serving his sentence at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution.
The trials of Dassey and Avery gained global attention after the release of Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, which cast doubt on the legal processes used to convict the pair.
Photographer Halbach disappeared in 2005 after visiting the Avery family salvage yard in Twin Rivers.
She was last known to have met Avery at his home on the grounds of his Auto Salvage business to take a picture of a minivan he was trying to sell.
Her vehicle was found part-hidden in his salvage yard and bloodstains recovered from its interior matched Avery’s DNA.
The young woman’s charred bone fragments were later found in a burn pit near Avery’s home.
He was arrested and charged with Halbach’s murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse on November 11, 2005.
The prosecution claimed he invited his 16-year-old nephew Dassey into his home to sexually assault and torture her.
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In 1985, Avery was falsely convicted of sexually assaulting a young, female jogger.
It took 18 years for his conviction to be overturned and he was given a £305,000 payout in compensation.
However, he was re-arrested and charged with Teresa Halbach’s murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse on November 11, 2005.
AP2006 Steven Avery has always maintained his innocence
Teresa Halbach was tortured and sexually assaulted before she was killed
AP:Associated Press Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey was also jailed for murder
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