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'Making a Murderer's' Steven Avery has request for new trial denied

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Posted at 1:23 PM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-03 20:15:46-04

A circuit court judge denied "Making a Murderer" subject Steven Avery's request for a new trial in the murder of Teresa Halbach Tuesday. 

In the Sheboygan County (Wisconsin) Circuit Court’s decision, Judge Angela Sutkiewicz said, “Given the totality of evidence submitted at trial and the ambiguous conclusions as stated in the experts’ reports, it cannot be said that a reasonable probability exists that a different result would be reached at a new trial based on these reports.”

Avery’s attorneys had filed a number of motions arguing that forensic tests that are available now could be used to disprove the prosecution’s evidence used to convict Avery in 2005. 

In particular, there was a question of Avery’s DNA found on a key found in his trailer. The judge said there is “no question,” it was Avery’s DNA, and "While the defendant asserts that someone took his toothbrush and planted the DNA on the subkey, there is no evidence submitted that establishes a break in or the theft of a toothbrush other than the defendant’s conclusory allegations." 

“Given the totality of evidence submitted at trial and the ambiguous conclusions as stated in the experts’ reports, it cannot be said that a reasonable probability exists that a different result would be reached at a new trial based on these reports. As such, the defendant has not met his burden in order to obtain a new trial,” the judge's decision said.

Avery was convicted of murdering Halbach in 2005, along with his nephew Brendan Dassey. Dassey, who is currently fighting to have his confession thrown out, which his attorneys say was coerced by law enforcement. 

Avery’s case gained national attention following the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” raised questions about the case.