WAUKESHA, Wis.(WHBL) - A state appeals court says Steven Avery does not deserve a new trial for the slaying of a woman at his family’s auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County. A three-judge panel ruled this morning that the judge in Avery’s original trial was correct by not letting him point the finger at somebody else for the killing of Teresa Halbach.
The 25-year-old Halbach was taking photos for Auto Trader magazine when she was shot, raped, and burned at the Avery salvage yard on Halloween of 2005. That was two-and-a-half years after Avery was freed from prison – where he served 18 years for a rape he didn’t commit. His case made national news because Avery was among the first in the U-S to be acquitted by D-N-A evidence, only to be convicted later by D-N-A.
The case also put the Wisconsin Innocence Project on the map. The group of U-W Madison students has been responsible for a number of criminal acquittals, after finding evidence that those people were wrongly convicted. Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are both serving life prison terms for the Halbach murder. Dassey was 16 when his confession to sheriff’s investigators resulted in charges to both him and Avery. His lawyers said Dassey was not savvy enough to sniff out the officers’ interrogating tactics – and they wanted a new trial for Dassey on that basis. But a judge said no last December, saying there’s no evidence that Dassey’s conviction was “fundamentally unfair.”