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After a period of relative calm following the end of Making a Murderer season two, 2021 has more than made up for that with Kathleen Zellner's bombshell revelations in April and a court ruling in July. She last updated fans of the show on Steven Avery's case on 28th July 2021.
Here's everything you need to know about the case so far.
This followed a new court filing on 13th April, which states that a delivery driver has come forward and said he saw Bobby Dassey with an unidentified, bearded man in his 50s-60s pushing a Toyota RAV-4 (the model Teresa Halbach was driving) onto the Avery property in the early hours of 5th November 2005.
On 14th April, Zellner tweeted: "To all the Steven Avery supporters: Thank you for all the tips on the accomplice. We should have him identified very quickly."
The next update was on 4th July 2021; Kathleen Zellner tweeted: "Avery Update: Still waiting for Court of Appeals decision."
On 27th July 2021, Kathleen Zellner said on Twitter that a decision from the appellate court was imminent.
On 28th July 2021, it was announced that the court had rejected Avery's appeal. It's not the ideal situation, but there are still options for the Making a Murderer star.
Zellner tweeted: "Not deterred by the appellate court decision--it pointed out the specific doors that are still open for Mr. Avery's quest for freedom. We appreciate the careful review. #Onward #TruthWins."
Before this, the last development in the case was in June 2020, when Avery's lawyer filed The Avery Reply Brief with the optimistic message, "We're going to win this!!!"
This came as a counter-response to The State of Wisconsin, which, after the filing of Avery's appeal, submitted a 130-page document asking the court to deny Avery a new trial.
As of now, Steven Avery remains in prison for the murder of Theresa Halbach in 2005, as told in the the 2015 hit true crime documentary, Making A Murderer.
Avery has always maintained his innocence and believes he was framed by the Manitowoc County Police Department after he sued them for wrongful conviction in 2003.
In 1985, Avery was imprisoned for sexual assault and attempted murder. It wasn't until 18 years into his 20-year sentence that DNA evidence proved he was innocent and he was released.
After his release in 2003, Avery filed a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County and received a small fraction of this as a settlement.
Two years later, Avery was convicted of Halbach's murder and sentenced to life without parole.
The Netflix series, which covers Avery's 2007 murder trial, has garnered international attention for the case and brought new evidence to light.
Viewers learnt about witness coercion and tampering with evidence on behalf of Manitowoc County, who Avery believes framed him for the murder as payback for suing them in 2003.
Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, is also serving time for the murder.
In 2019, Kathleen Zellner, who featured in the second season of Making A Murderer, stepped up her efforts to fight for her client's justice.
In February 2019, Avery won a motion to appeal in a Wisconsin circuit court, which meant that the court would reexamine the case.
Zellner's appeal argued that the bones discovered in the gravel pit on the Avery property, believed to be Halbach's, had been mishandled by authorities when they were given to the victim's family in 2011, without notifying the defence.
In August 2019, the defence's bid for a new trial was rejected in the circuit court, meaning Zellner and her team had to continue to pursue their appeal in Wisconsin's appellate court.
Unlike the circuit (district) court, an appellate court doesn't retry cases, hear witness statements, see new evidence, or have a jury. Instead, it reviews the procedures and decisions made in the original case to ensure the legal proceedings were fair and the law was applied correctly.
Yes. Zellner continues to fight for her client's justice. Regarding the next steps, Avery's appeal - and the arguments for and against - is being deliberated by a judge who will decide if Avery should be offered a new trial.
If this fails, the defence could even escalate Avery's case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
If Zellner's appeal wins Avery a second trial and it is successful, it will be the second time he has been exonerated from prison.
In December 2020, Zellner tweeted, "Steven Avery is strong, healthy & adamant as ever about his innocence. The details of the story he tells about 10/31 never change."
At the end of the second season of Making A Murderer, Zellner makes two of the biggest discoveries in the case so far:
1) Zellner gets permission to experiment with evidence in hope that she'll prove evidence was planted to frame Avery. An expert from Wisconsin State Crime Lab testified and said he couldn't conclusively link the gun found at Avery's property to Halbach's murder.
2) Zellner finds thousands of images of pornography and violence towards woman on Dassey's older brother, Bobby Dassey's, computer. She insists he should be considered a suspect.
Since then, fans wonder (and hope) if there will be a third instalment of the true crime series.
Nothing has been confirmed just yet, but filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos did tell Cosmopolitan in 2018 that it could definitely be on the cards.
And with such a revelation from Avery's lawyer in April 2021, it's hard to imagine there won't be a Making a Murderer season three.
Steven Avery's mother, Dolores Avery, sadly passed away on 8th July 2021. His father, Allen Avery, is still alive and well as far as we know.
Steven has always had the support of his parents and they both were visiting him regularly until lockdown.
Steven Avery has managed to keep up a dating life despite serving a life sentence in prison.
Long before the Halbach case, Avery was married to Lori Mathiesen, who he had four children with. They divorced while he was in prison for a rape case, which he was wrongfully convicted for.
Season 1 makes reference to Avery's previous marriage to Mathiesen. Throughout the docuseries, we meet Avery's more recent partners - Jodi Stachowski, Sandy Greenman and Lynn Hartman.
Stachowski was in prison herself for drink-driving when they met, which was around the time of Halbach's death. Once she left prison, Stachowski was involved in the filming of the documentary and continued to back Avery's claims that he was innocent. That is, until January 2016, when she changed her mind and said that he wasn't.
Later on in the series, we meet Sandy Greenman, who started writing to Avery in prison after watching his trial being covered on TV. Sandy began visiting Avery in prison while her husband at the time was suffering from dementia and Parkinson's disease.
After her husband's death in April 2008, Greenman's relationship with Avery grew and they eventually got engaged. But Greenman broke off the engagement in January 2016.
In September 2016, Avery got engaged to legal secretary, Lynn Hartman. Just over a week later, Avery broke off the engagement, claiming that Hartman was in the relationship for the money.
No new relationships have been confirmed since Avery broke off his engagement with Hartman. But Greenman stays in touch with Avery, upholding the belief that he is innocent. She regularly updates her social media followers about Avery.
Steven Avery has always upheld his innocence in the case.
In late 2019, another inmate confessed to the murder of Teresa Halbach while talking to the documentary producers. But the legitimacy of the confession wasn't confirmed.
Brendan Dassey has, like his uncle, always pleaded innocent and the documentary has brought international attention and support to his case.
His lawyer, Laura Nirider, tweeted in January 2021, "Five years after #MakingAMurderer, your commitment hasn't wavered a bit. Neither has ours."
Both Dassey and Avery remain behind bars and their lawyers continue to fight for their freedom.
Due to the popularity of the true crime series Making A Murderer comes, Google searches around Steven Avery's net worth have soared.
In 2003, he sued Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction and won a $400,000 settlement. Despite being in prison since 2005, it's estimated that Steven Avery is now worth a bit more than that and The Wealth Record has put his net worth at around $500,000 in 2021.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix
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