Those following the case of Steven Avery after watching Netflix series Making a Murderer might remember that the ball should have been rolling on his appeal this week.
However, proceedings been pushed back by three months after his legal team was granted a 90-day extension on the deadline for submitting papers, partly to wade through the 464 documents involved.
The legal briefs from Avery's lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, are now due 29 August, and many expect the papers to be available online when they are filed.
According to court documents uploaded by Wisconsin news outlet TMJ4, Zellner wrote in the request: “The transcripts alone are voluminous – trial lasted over four weeks with an addtional postconviction hearing. The record totals 464 documents.”
Zellner, who is known for her work exonerating people wrongfully convicted of crimes, also cited the number of other cases the team have been working on. The appeal papers were originally due to be filed 31 May.
Avery, 53, and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, 26, were sentenced in 2007 for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Avery had only been released from prison in 2003 after DNA evidence proved he’d been wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder. He’d served 18 years.
Last year’s Making a Murderer convinced many he was wrongfully convicted yet again, with many believing evidence was planted and the investigation biased against Avery – who was arrested while a compensation case for the previous conviction was pending – from the start.
Zellner has previously spoken of bringing new evidence to court, including data from mobile phone towers and an “airtight alibi” for Avery, and told Newsweek in March she was eyeing new suspects who all knew Halbach: “We have a couple. 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.”
Avery was charged with Halbach's murder in November 2005 and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole in 2007. He filed his appeal in January. Dassey was sentenced to life in 2007, with the possibility of early release in 2048.
Images: Rex Features