Anyone who’s into true crime documentaries probably knows the story of Steven Avery. The Netflix documentary Making a Murderer was released in 2015, but people are still talking about the main subject of the show, convicted murderer Steven Avery. The big question on everyone’s mind: Did Avery really kill Teresa Halbach?
There are plenty of people – fans, family members, and even Steven Avery’s new lawyer – who fervently believe Avery was wrongly accused. Now that Avery won the right to appeal, there’s a chance he could get out of prison in 2019. Will DNA evidence exonerate Steven Avery for the second time in his life?
Why did Steven Avery go to jail the first time?
Before the Netflix documentary aired, most people outside of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin didn’t know the name Steven Avery. But since people started discovering his story, Avery hasn’t just become a source of national speculation – he’s also one of the most notorious wrongfully convicted criminals ever.
Whether or not Avery murdered Halbach, Steven Avery has already gone to prison and been released for a crime he definitely didn’t commit. In 1985, a woman named Penny Beerntsen was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted while she was out for a jog.
Steven Avery, who was then 23 years old and had already been in trouble with the law for minor offenses, was arrested after Beerntsen picked him out of a photo lineup. A jury found him guilty despite an appalling lack of evidence.
Avery served 18 years of a 32 year prison sentence before DNA evidence proved he never committed the crime. Avery filed a lawsuit against the county sherriff’s department – and then they arrested him for murder.
Will DNA evidence free Avery again?
Plenty of people believe that Steven Avery was targeted as a suspect in the Halbach murder because of the pending $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County. But the case isn’t as simple as the documentary Making a Murderer makes it appear. There are plenty of conflicting pieces of evidence that make it hard to determine what really happened.
One person who passionately believes in Steven Avery’s innocence? His new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner. She’s convinced that bone fragments discovered on the Avery property could be the key to proving her client’s innocence.
How could DNA testing on the bones help? Well, Zellner explained that the “State fought [the] idea of [Teresa Halbach] bones” being in the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit. This key piece of evidence helped the State win the guilty conviction.”
If the DNA testing proves who the bones belong to, it could change everything. It may even lead to the guilty conviction being overturned.
Will Steven Avery get out of jail again?
Kathleen Zellner is fighting for her client and firmly believes DNA evidence is the key to setting him free – again. “The deeper we dig into the Avery conviction, the more evidence we uncover of his innocence. It does not matter how long it takes, what it costs or what obstacles we have to overcome — our efforts to win Mr. Avery’s freedom will never stop,” she said on her website.