MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Supreme Court has rejected a request by Steven Avery to review his conviction for killing a young photographer in 2005, a case that became the focus of a popular Netflix series “Making a Murderer.”
Avery has been fighting unsuccessfully for years to have his conviction overturned. His latest appeal asked the court to review three issues: failure to disclose evidence, the destruction of bone fragments and ineffective assistance of counsel.
The court on Wednesday denied Avery's petition for review without commenting.
Avery, 59, is serving life in prison for killing Theresa Halbach, 25, on his family’s property on Halloween 2005. Halbach had gone to the Avery family salvage yard to photograph a vehicle that Avery planned to sell.
His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted in the case. Both Avery and Dassey have maintained their innocence.
“We are not surprised since the Wisconsin Supreme Court only grants 1-2% of petitions for review. Mr. Avery has many options including proceeding to the U.S Supreme Court, and then federal district," Avery's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said in a statement. "Since the appellate court only ruled on 50% of the issues raised we will be filing a new petition with the circuit court at the appropriate time.”
The case gained widespread attention in 2015 after Netflix aired “Making a Murderer,” a series whose creators raised questions about the convictions. Those who worked on the cases accused the filmmakers of leaving out key pieces of evidence and presenting a biased view of what happened. The filmmakers defended their work and supported calls to set Avery and Dassey free.
Dassey was 16 when he confessed to detectives that he helped his uncle rape and kill Halbach. A judge threw out the confession in 2016, ruling it was coerced by investigators using deceptive tactics. That ruling was later overturned by a federal appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his case.