MAKING A Murderer, the Netflix documentary which told the story of inmate Steven Avery became a small-screen phenomenon after sensationally claiming he was framed for murder.
The man convicted of killing Teresa Halbach with his nephew Brendan Dassey in 2005 was denied a request for a new trial.
Who is Steven Avery?
Steven Avery was born in Wisconsin, USA.
He married Lori Mathiesen and had four children together – Rachel, Jenny, and twins Steven and Will.
In 1985 he was falsely convicted of sexually assaulting a young, female jogger.
While in prison, his wife Lori divorced him and he lost custody of his children – including his twin sons who were just a few days old when he was found guilty.
It took 18 years for his conviction to be overturned and he was given a $36million (£28.2million) payout in compensation.
Days later he was re-arrested for the murder of Teresa Halbach.
Avery is currently serving life in prison at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution without the possibility of parole.
He struck up a relationship with Lynn Hartman, 53, through letters and phone calls.
One week after their first meeting, the pair got engaged to be married – but it was short-lived.
He reportedly dumped her over fears she was a “gold-digger”.
He starred in a Netflix original series which documented his struggle for “justice”.
In the last episode of the series, viewers are told that Avery has exhausted his appeals and is no longer entitled to state-appointed legal representation.
What previous convictions did Steven Avery have before Teresa Halbach’s murder?
At 18 years old he was convicted of burgling a bar with a friend and stealing two packs of beer, two cheese sandwiches and $14 (£11) in coins.
He spent ten months in Manitowoc County Jail after being handed a two-year sentence.
- ANIMAL CRUELTY
A year later he was found guilty of animal cruelty after allegedly stealing a cat, pouring gas and oil on it before throwing it on a bonfire.
- POSSESSION OF A FIREARM
In 1985 he pointed a gun to his cousin’s head after running her off the road.
He claimed she had been spreading rumours about him.
He was charged with endangering safety regardless of life and felony in possession of a firearm.
- SEX ATTACK
A woman named Penny Ann Beerntsen is attacked and raped by a stranger while running along the beach near her home in Wisconsin.
She describes her attacker as approximately 5’6″-5’7″, stocky, with brown eyes, long sandy hair, in a black leather jacket.
Steven Avery’s picture is included in the crime photo lineup later shown to Beernsten.
Despite 16 witnesses testifying under oath that Steven Avery had an alibi at the time of the attack, he is arrested by police.
Months later he is found guilty of sexual assault, attempted murder and false imprisonment and is sentenced to 32 years behind bars.
It was not until 18 years later that a single pubic hair proved Avery was innocent and he was released from prison.
When was the Making A Murderer star convicted of killing Teresa Halbach?
In 2005, photographer Teresa Halbach disappeared without a trace.
She was last known to have met with 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 partially 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 Brendan Dassey into his home to sexually assault and torture her.
It was alleged they then took her into the garage to shoot her in the head before burning her body and attempting to destroy the charred remains.
On June 6, 2007, Avery was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of early release after being found guilty of Halbach’s murder.
What’s next for Steven Avery?
Avery is currently serving his sentence at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution.
For the past 11 years he has been fighting for his freedom.
Steven Avery’s attorney said she planned to present new evidence to the court to try and revive his request after it was rejected by a state circuit judge. Avery had argued that his conviction in the 2005 death of Teresa Halbach was based on planted evidence and false testimony.
“We have additional test results and witness affidavits,” Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner said in a statement.
“The scientific testing is not completed, we remain optimistic that Mr. Avery’s conviction will be vacated.”
Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz said in her ruling that based on the evidence presented so far, Avery failed to establish grounds to warrant a new trial. Avery argued that new scientific tests cast doubt on evidence submitted at his trial, presented alternate theories about the killing and questioned motives of police.
Given the totality of evidence submitted at the trial, no reasonable probability exists that a different result would be reached at a new trial, the judge said.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel praised the decision, saying it “brings us one step closer to providing justice to Teresa Halbach’s family.” He said the Department of Justice would continue to vigorously defend Avery’s conviction.
Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed to detectives he helped his uncle rape and kill Halbach at the Avery family’s salvage yard. A judge overturned Dassey’s conviction last year, ruling that investigators took advantage of the then-16-year-old Dassey’s cognitive disabilities and tricked him into confessing.
The state is fighting that ruling and a federal appeals court heard arguments in the case last week. Dassey remains in custody while the appeal is pending.
A second series of Making A Murderer is due to be released in 2017 – although a more specific date has yet to be announced.
Is there new evidence?
Ken Krantz claimed the hit documentary had used deceptive editing and left out key evidence to trick its viewers.
The disgraced lawyer said the Netflix story had ruined lives and reputations, with the show “a very good piece of entertainment” – but not true to reality.
Krantz said one of the central claims of Avery’s defence – that a hole found in a vial of Avery’s blood from his previous false rape conviction proved it had been used to plant it in Teresa’s car – was false.
Instead, Krantz says this theory was disproved early on after a nurse provided written testimony saying she made the hole when she drew the blood from Avery.
What has Avery’s lawyer said?
Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner has made explosive claims that Halbach’s ex-boyfriend was physically abusive towards her and may have been the one who killed her.
In a 1,272-page document, Zellner also claims that the victim’s former lover had unrestricted access to Avery’s property and Halbach’s home giving him “complete control of evidence”.
In the new document, retired FBI agent Gregg McCrary declares of Hillegas: “I have seen no evidence that he offered an alibi or any sort of statement regarding his activities from October 31, 2005, to November 3, 2005.
“Nor have I seen any evidence that the authorities ever asked him to do so.”