A circuit court judge in Steven Avery's home state of Wisconsin has denied his request for a new trial. Avery gained worldwide attention in late 2015 when he was profiled in the Netflix documentary series, Making A Murderer.
Avery served 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Following his release from prison in 2003, he filed a wrongful conviction lawsuit against Manitowoc County. Before the suit could be decided, he and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were charged with the murder of 25 year old photographer, Teresa Halbach.
Avery's current lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, petitioned the court for a new trial on the grounds that Stephen had an ineffective defence in his first trial, there were ethical violations by prosecutor Ken Kratz, and that advancements in DNA testing would reveal new evidence.
Many of the issues around Ken Kratz and the DNA evidence were raised in Making A Murderer.
Judge Angela Sutkiewicz rejected this petition, issuing a decision that stated "the defendant has failed to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice. As such, no further consideration will be given to this issue".
This is not the last step in the justice process for Avery. His lawyer intends to file an amended petition offering new test results and witness statements.
Brendan Dassey has already had his conviction overturned but remains behind bars while the Wisconsin Department of Justice appeal that decision in a higher court.