Judge denies 'Making a Murderer' Avery's request for new trial

Steven Avery (WLUK file image)

MANITOWOC, Wis. (WLUK) – A judge has denied Steven Avery’s motions for a new trial.

Avery is serving a life prison term for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.

Sheboygan County Judge Angela Sutkiewicz’s six-page decision dismissed several claims.

In bold print Sutkiewicz ruled Steven Avery's appeal for a new trial was denied.

In her decision, she wrote, "The defendant has failed to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice."

Avery's attorneys presented several arguments, hoping to get their client a new trial. In one argument they said Avery received poor representation for a previous appeal.

The judge responded, "A circuit court is not authorized by statute to resolve claims of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel."

Avery's attorneys also cited new forensic testing as evidence Avery did not kill Theresa Halbach.

The judge picked out several pieces of that evidence, and argued it was actually inconclusive.

In the end, the judge said the arguments were not strong enough, "It cannot be said that a reasonable probability exists that a different result would be reached at a new trial based on these reports."

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel responded to the ruling in a statement.

He said he is "pleased with the judge's decision which brings us one step closer to providing justice to Teresa Halbach's family. DOJ will continue to vigorously defend Avery's conviction, which was handed down by a jury of his peers."

Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner told FOX 11 the defense team is not done. She said they will have even more testing done on some of the evidence.

She wrote, "With the addition of these new scientific test results and new evidence, Mr. Avery's attorneys remain confident that his conviction will be vacated."

Zellner said with the further testing and new witness statements, the defense team will appeal Judge Sutkiewicz's decision with the state court of appeals.

Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, had his conviction overturned by a federal judge. A federal appeals court in Chicago recently heard arguments in that case, with a decision expected to be issued in the coming months.

The case gained worldwide attention with the 2015 release of the Netflix original documentary series "Making A Murderer." That series casts doubt on the investigation and the convictions of both Avery and Dassey.

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