Lawyer Claims New Evidence in Avery Case

Kathleen Zellner, the new defense lawyer for Steven Avery, the protagonist of the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer, is claiming to have evidence that the woman her client is accused of killing left his Wisconsin property alive on the day prosecutors say she was murdered. Zellner told a Newsweek reporter she has cellphone-tower records that place the last ping from victim Theresa Halbach’s phone 12 miles away from the Avery property in the hours after she was last seen there in October 2005—evidence that Avery’s previous lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, possessed but did not use at trial, possibly because they failed to account for a change in Daylight Saving Time. “They screwed it up,” Zellner said, adding that she will appeal on grounds the pair provided inadequate counsel. While Zellner doesn’t say if she can prove Halbach was in possession of her cellphone at the other location, she cites previously unreported strange phone messages the used-car magazine saleswoman received in the days before she disappeared, calls she’d made to a man recently arrested for sex crimes, and a narrowly drawn DNA evidence pool during the investigation. Zellner said she also has new prime suspects—all men who knew Halbach. “I’d say there’s one, leading the pack by a lot. But I don’t want to scare him off, I don’t want him to run,” she says. Avery was convicted of the murder of Halbach after he’d been exonerated for a rape he did not commit 18 years earlier. He has maintained he is innocent and being framed by local police in the Halbach case.