Attorney points finger at Dassey brother, says Avery was framed
Steven Avery's attorney released a series of tweets Thursday claiming Teresa Halbach was killed by someone else and that person planted Steven Avery's blood. Zellner says the motivation of her team's suspect was a "rage killing motivated by rejection."
Zellner never outright names her team's suspect, but does point fingers toward Brendan Dassey's brother, Bobby Dassey. Bobby Dassey was considered a star witness for the state during trial, testifying that he saw Halbach arrive at the scene and walk toward the Avery trailer. Bobby said he never saw her leave the property. Zellner has claimed that Bobby gave false testimony. "We cannot rule him out," Zellner tweeted when asked if he was a possible suspect.
"I'm going to walk you through what I've learned through my investigation that you didn't see in the show [Making A Murder]," Zellner tweeted.
Zellner laid out a timeline of events she says happened on Oct. 31, 2005--much of the information gathered from unnamed witnesses. That's the date Halbach, a freelance photographer, visited the Avery Salvage Yard to photograph a vehicle. Zellner's timeline contradicts testimony and evidence presented at trial. The prosecution said Avery and nephew Brendan Dassey raped and killed Halbach, and Avery burned her remains. Separate juries convicted Avery and Dassey of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in 2007.
Zellner says Brendan Dassey's stepfather, Scott Tadych, and Brendan's brother, Bobby, visited the Avery Salvage Yard around noon on the date of the murder. Zellner says Theresa Halbach called the Dassey landline for directions to the property. "Our suspect contacted her back with the Dassey address," Zellner says.
"We believe the killer gave TH directions."
She goes on to say that Teresa Halbach arrived at the Avery Salvage Yard at about 2:30 p.m. and she is seen by Steven Avery and Bobby Dassey. Zellner claims Teresa finished her photo assignment and left the salvage yard, turning west on Hwy 147 at 2:38 p.m. Prosecutors maintain that Halbach never left the property.
Zellner claims her team's suspect followed Halbach and got her to pull over. Zellner said Halbach opened the cargo door of her RAV 4 to get her camera and was knocked to the ground and struck with an object.
"TH was put in the rear cargo area of the RAV4 and driven back to ASY [Avery Salvage Yard]," Zellner tweeted. "TH's RAV4 was spotted leaving the ASY within an unknown driver at 3:45 p.m."
Zellner claims the RAV4 was left by an old dam west of Mishicot and was spotted there by three witnesses before it was gone on Nov. 4, 2005.
"Recent investigation shows the RAV4 battery died, so it was replaced in order to move the RAV4 to the ASY," Zellner tweeted. Zellner said the battery had been replaced with one that's the wrong size for a RAV4.
Zellner claims a body was burned at a smelter on Nov. 4. "Tadych worked the night shift at a smelter facility," she tweeted.
"TH's electronics were not burned in Steven's burn barrel; they were burned in Dassey burn barrel," Zellner says.
Zellner then claims her team's suspect knew Steven's finger had bled on Nov. 3 and the suspect had access to Steven's trailer on the property. Zellner claims the person removed Steven's blood from the sink and planted it in the RAV4. Zellner also says that this person planted bones in Steven's burn pit and planted Teresa Halbach's electronics in Avery's burn barrel.
"In conclusion, the killer is the person who had the access and opportunity to play Steven Avery's fresh blood in Teresa Halbach's car," Zellner says.
Neither Bobby Dassey or Scott Tadych have been charged with anything related to the Teresa Halbach case. The Dasseys say no one in the family is responsible for the Halbach murder.
Kathleen Zellner's efforts to free Steven Avery are featured heavily in the second season of the Emmy-winning docu-series "Making A Murderer." She performed numerous tests and said she was unable to duplicate the state's forensic evidence.
Zellner is appealing Avery's conviction in the District 2 Court of Appeals. A circuit court judge denied his request for a new trial.
Zellner's brief to the appeals court is due by Dec. 20.
Zellner has been successful in getting courts to overturn numerous wrongful convictions. One of those clients is Ryan Ferguson who spent 10 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
Brendan Dassey remains behind bars after the U.S. Supreme Court denied his writ of habeas corpus--meaning they did not take up his appeal. Dassey's attorneys argued that his confession to the killing of Halbach was coerced. He was 16-years-old at the time of the confession and has a low IQ.
Dassey will be able to ask for parole in 2048. Avery was sentenced to life in prison without parole.