The long, twisting and highly unusual legal saga of Steven Avery continues to evolve nearly two years after audiences were captivated by his story in Netflix’s 10-part docuseries “Making a Murderer.” On Tuesday Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Judge Angela Sutkiewicz issued a ruling that denied Avery a new trial for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.
The Netflix series’ investigation of the case presented the possibility that Avery and his then-16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey were railroaded by local officials in their convictions, which Avery has argued was the product of planted evidence and false testimony.
The false testimony aspect of the case has already proved to hold some merit in the courts, as a judge overturned Dassey’s conviction earlier this year. Dassey confessed to police that he and his uncle raped and murdered Halbach, but as the Netflix series appeared to show – using video of Dassey’s confession – the cognitively disabled 16-year-old was tricked into the confession by investigators. Dassey remains in custody, while the state appeals.
It was in light of Dassey’s conviction having been overturned that Avery’s defense team was attempting to present new evidence to the court in an effort to get a retrial.
“The defendant has failed to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice,” said Sutkiewicz in her ruling, according to ABC News. “[N]o further consideration will be given to this issue.”
Avery’s defense team does not believe the matter is closed.
“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.”