Stephen Avery Prepares for Court Again After Legal Team Reveals the 'Real' Murderer
It's been more than a year since Netflix's Making a Murderer sparked interest and new investigations into the case of Stephen Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, yet both men remain behind bars.
Still, legal teams are working to have their convictions overturned — Dassey's has already been vacated, in fact, but he's still in prison following the prosecution's appeal. Avery's lawyer just submitted a 1,000-page motion calling for a new trial for Avery and claiming that she knows the identity of Teresa Halbach's "real" killer. It sounds like prime material for Making a Murderer's second season, if you ask us.
Kathleen Zellner, Avery's new lawyer, claims in her motion that it was actually Halbach's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas, who killed her. Zellner alleges that Hillegas wanted to reconcile with Halbach, but "she was no longer romantically interested in him" and was seeing other men, and points to Hillegas' jealousy as motive for the murder.
Zellner also outlines evidence that she says points to Hillegas. His relationship with Halbach was "verbally and physically abusive," she says, and she also points out that he doesn't have an alibi for Oct. 31, 2005, the day Halbach was murdered. In fact, Zellner claims, there's a 17-hour gap in Hillegas' phone records during the time Halbach was likely murdered and her body was burned. Zellner thinks that's enough evidence to warrant a new trial, pointing to Hillegas as a more likely murderer than Avery.
Zellner also claims that Avery's conviction should be vacated because of mounting evidence that local authorities mishandled the case. The Netflix documentary that sparked public outcry at Avery's imprisonment hinted that police planted evidence in Avery's home, helping to secure their case against him.