For the first time, only Action 2 News is hearing from Steven Avery’s new post-conviction attorney, Kathleen Zellner.
Zellner met with Avery Friday at Waupun Correctional Institution and is convinced Avery should be a free man.
The case centers on the killing of photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005. The Hilbert native was 25 when she disappeared in late October, 2005, after visiting the Avery family salvage yard to photograph a vehicle for a sales magazine.
In the days that followed, searchers found Halbach’s vehicle and then her burned remains.
In 2007, Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey were convicted of killing her and given life sentences.
Zellner, whose law firm is in suburban Chicago, arrived at about 12:30 Friday afternoon and spent the next three hours in the prison talking with her client. We spoke with her both before and after that meeting.
She tells us not only is she optimistic but so is her client.
As Zellner arrived at Waupun Correctional, she exuded confidence in her ability to exonerate Steven Avery, believing her team would be able to uncover new evidence.
“Since 2007 there have been significant advances in forensic testing and so clearly we’re going, the clearest way to do this is with scientific testing and that’s what we will be asking to do,” Zellner told us.
Zellner said she’s been following Avery’s case for years, and after questioning him for hours she decided it was a case she had to take.
“When someone wants every possible test done that could be done that would prove their guilt or innocence, that’s when you know they’re innocent,” she said.
Part of their independent investigation was to buy a Toyota Rav4, the same make and model as the one Halbach owned. That’s the vehicle found on the Avery salvage yard property, and DNA evidence found inside it linked Avery to the case.
“I want to understand the hood latch, battery cables, where the blood was supposedly found in the car. I want to examine what was not tested in the car that should’ve been tested, because there’s a number of things on the car that obviously would have needed to be tested that weren’t.”
And while Zellner wouldn’t specifically name anyone, she did say there are other suspects on her list of people who could have killed Teresa Halbach.
“Clearly there are other people we are looking at. That’s always done in a case like this,” Zellner said.
As she left, Zellner said Avery’s motion to be released on bond that he filed himself has been withdrawn, now that she’s signed on as his appellatte counsel, and she believes we could see some movement in the appeals process within the next 30 days.
“He’s extremely positive,” Zellner said of Avery, “because he knows that there’s a lot of new forensic testing that can be done, and so he’s thrilled that there is new development in technology. So he’s very positive.”