The Making a Murderer saga isn’t coming to an end anytime soon. People reports that yesterday, Kathleen Zellner, Stephen Avery’s attorney, submitted a 1,000-page motion calling for a new trial. In it, she alleges that law-enforcement agencies concealed evidence and planted false evidence during the investigation into the murder of Teresa Halbach.
In the motion, Zellner posits that the real killer is actually Ryan Hillegas, Halbach’s ex-boyfriend. During the initial murder investigation back in 2005, Hillegas actually led the volunteer search for Halbach. He never faced any charges in the murder, even though Zellner claims that evidence points to him killing Halbach in a fit of jealousy.
Many Making a Murderer viewers saw suggestions of evidence tampering, especially when authorities found Halbach’s car keys beside Avery’s bed on the final day of investigation. They’d never noticed it before, leading would-be sleuths to determine that the key was probably planted to secure Avery’s conviction. Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was convicted in 2007 of “homicide, sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse,” had his conviction overturned, but remains behind bars after an appeal from prosecutors. The show led many viewers to believe that he was pressured into a false confession.
According to Zellner’s motion, Hillegas was looking to reconcile with Halbach, even though “she was no longer romantically interested in him.” Zellner says that Halbach had moved on from the relationship and was seeing other men, a situation that could be seen as motive for Hillegas.
Additionally, Zellner adds that the relationship between Halbach and Hillegas was tempestuous and “verbally and physically abusive.” She also noted that Hillegas doesn’t have an alibi for October 31, 2005, the date of the murder. She drew more evidence from his phone records, which showed a 17-hour gap from October 31 to November 1.
“Mr. Hillegas’ phone records have an over 17-hour gap from 7:47 p.m. on October 31, 2005, to 1:31 p.m. on November 1, 2005, during the time where Ms. Halbach’s body was transported and burned,” Zellner’s filing reads.
Zellner believes that she’s presented enough evidence to merit a brand-new trial, especially since she’s found proof of misconduct from local authorities, mistakes from Avery’s former legal team, and the mishandling of existing evidence. With her motion on the judge’s table, it’s now out of Zellner’s hands. She’s hoping that it’s enough to reverse Avery’s former conviction and get him a new trial.
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