STEVEN Avery’s lawyer has said she has announced a $100,000 reward to find Theresa Halbach’s “real killer”.
In the latest twist in the Making A Murderer case, Kathleen Zellner revealed the reward on Twitter after last week saying she had a “big announcement” coming up.
Steven Avery is currently in prison for murder[/caption]
Avery is fighting a long-running and high-profile legal battle to get his murder conviction quashed[/caption]
The civil rights attorney posted: “We are please to announce that a reward of $100,000 is being offered, by a concerned citizen, for the arrest and and conviction of the real killer of Teresa Halbach.”
The news comes just under a month after she previously tweeted an update to the case saying that they would be returning to the appeals court after the case seemed to hit a roadblock in April as Wisconsin state lawyers tried to block a retrial.
Avery, 56, and his nephew Brendan Dassey are serving life in prison for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, who was kidnapped, taken to Avery’s home and sexually assaulted and tortured before being shot.
The two men then burned her body and attempted to destroy the charred remains, according to the prosecution case.
However, Avery – whose case gained global attention after the release of Netflix documentary Making a Murderer – is fighting a long-running and high-profile legal battle to get his murder conviction quashed.
Zellner, claims if bone fragments found at a third location are those of Halbach then it undermines the prosecutor’s assertion that she was killed at Avery’s property.
But the state of Wisconsin called for Avery’s appeal to be rejected on the basis that the claims “could have been raised previously on several occasions”.
Attorney General Josh Kaul’s said: “Any claim for a new trial premised upon the failure to previously test the bone fragments or the alleged improper disposition of certain bone fragment evidence is barred because the claims could have been raised previously on several occasions.”
In Avery’s 2007 murder trial, the prosecution based its case on Avery killing and mutilating Teresa Halbach and burning her remains in his personal burn pit.
Any claim for a new trial premised upon the failure to previously test the bone fragments or the alleged improper disposition of certain bone fragment evidence is barred because the claims could have been raised previously on several occasions
Attorney General Josh Kaul
But Avery’s legal team says if the bones found in the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit belonged to Teresa Halbach, that would undermine the jury’s guilty verdict, reports wbay.com.
Zellner states: “No reasonable trier of fact could conclude that, if Mr. Avery murdered and mutilated Ms. Halbach in the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit, he would move her bones from the gravel pit to his own burn pit and thereby incriminate himself.”
Zellner has asked the court to reject the State’s arguments, branding them “unauthorised and unsolicited”.
She said in her response: “If the State wished to challenge Mr. Avery’s claims on procedural grounds, it should have appealed the Court of Appeals’ order to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.”
Zellner also says the State’s argument is inconsistent with previous State filings encouraging Avery to seek his claims related to the bone fragments.
If the State wished to challenge Mr. Avery’s claims on procedural grounds, it should have appealed the Court of Appeals’ order to the Wisconsin Supreme Court
She said: “For this reason, Mr. Avery respectfully asks this Court to reject the State’s internally inconsistent argument for the procedural preclusion of Mr. Avery’s claim.”
Avery is currently serving his sentence at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution and continues to maintain his innocence.
In Making a Murderer, doubts are cast on the legal processes used to convict Avery and Dassey.
Photographer Halbach disappeared in 2005 after visiting the Avery family salvage yard in Twin Rivers.
She was last known to have met Avery at his home on the grounds of his Auto Salvage business to take a picture of a minivan he was trying to sell.
Her vehicle was found part-hidden in his salvage yard and bloodstains recovered from its interior matched Avery’s DNA.
The young woman’s charred bone fragments were later found in a burn pit near Avery’s home.
He was arrested and charged with Halbach’s murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse on November 11, 2005.
The prosecution claimed he invited his 16-year-old nephew Dassey into his home to sexually assault and torture her.
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In 1985, Avery was falsely convicted of sexually assaulting a young, female jogger.
It took 18 years for his conviction to be overturned and he was given a £305,000 payout in compensation.
However, he was re-arrested and charged with Teresa Halbach’s murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse on November 11, 2005.
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