'Making a Murderer' Case: Avery Attorneys Say New Evidence Warrants New Trial - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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'Making a Murderer' Case: Avery Attorneys Say New Evidence Warrants New Trial

A judge earlier this month rejected Steven Avery's request for a new trial, saying his attorneys failed to establish any grounds to warrant a new trial

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    Attorneys for a Wisconsin man convicted of homicide in a case featured on the Netflix series "Making A Murderer" are asking a circuit court to reconsider a prior ruling rejecting a request for a new trial. 

    The motion for reconsideration filed on behalf of Steven Avery in Manitowoc County Monday says the latest request is based on new evidence and legal errors. 

    A judge earlier this month rejected Avery's request for a new trial, saying his attorneys failed to establish any grounds to warrant a new trial. Avery was sentenced to life in prison for the 2005 slaying of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer. Avery had argued that his conviction was based on planted evidence and false testimony.

    Some evidence cited in the latest motion includes claims that witnesses gave false testimony at the original trial.

    "We have additional test results and witness affidavits," Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner said in a statement. "The scientific testing is not completed, we remain optimistic that Mr. Avery's conviction will be vacated."

    Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz said in her initial ruling that based on the evidence presented so far, Avery failed to establish grounds to warrant a new trial. Avery argued that new scientific tests cast doubt on evidence submitted at his trial, presented alternate theories about the killing and questioned motives of police.

    Given the totality of evidence submitted at the trial, no reasonable probability exists that a different result would be reached at a new trial, the judge said.

    The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which opposed granting a new trial, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Avery, 55, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the 2005 death of Halbach.

    Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed to detectives he helped his uncle rape and kill Halbach at the Avery family's salvage yard. A judge overturned Dassey's conviction last year, ruling that investigators took advantage of the then-16-year-old Dassey's cognitive disabilities and tricked him into confessing.

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    The state is fighting that ruling and a federal appeals court heard arguments in the case last week. Dassey remains in custody while the appeal is pending.

    Both Avery and Dassey maintain their innocence. The case gained national attention in 2015 after Netflix aired "Making a Murderer," a multi-part documentary examining Halbach's death. The series spawned conjecture about the pair's innocence, but those who worked on the cases accused the filmmakers of leaving out key pieces of evidence and presenting a biased view of what happened. The filmmakers defended their work and supported calls to set both Avery and Dassey free.