Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Steven Avery: Wisconsin: (Making a Murderer); Bulletin: Associated Press reports that a judge has appointed former Milwaukee County Prosecutor Norman Gahn, who helped prosecute Steven Avery In 2005, as a special prosecutor to represent the case in Avery's request for extensive testing in his homicide case.

"A judge has appointed a special prosecutor to represent the state in Steven Avery's request for extensive testing in his homicide case. Court documents show a judge appointed former Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Norman Gahn to replace Manitowoc County District Attorney Jaclyn LaBre in Avery's case on Sept. 1 after LaBre cited a conflict of interest. Avery contends Manitowoc County officials framed him for Teresa Halbach's 2005 death. His story was featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer." Avery's attorney filed a motion in August requesting extensive forensic testing on evidence. Gahn pioneered the DNA use in criminal cases in the 1980s and gained a national profile when he filed charges against DNA profiles in unsolved rape cases from the 1990s. He helped prosecute Avery in Halbach's death."


See Wikipedia entry at the link below: "Steven Avery (born July 9, 1962) is an American man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin who was wrongfully convicted of rape and attempted murder in 1985, and served 18 years of a 32-year sentence. After losing appeals in the state courts, he was fully exonerated by DNA evidence which proved another man had committed the crime, and he was released in 2003.[2][3]After his release from prison, Avery filed a civil lawsuit for $36 million in damages against Manitowoc County, its sheriff, and its district attorney. In November 2005, while his civil suit was pending, he was arrested for the murder of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach, and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in 2007. The conviction was upheld by the state appeals court; the state supreme court declined to hear the case.[4] A new series of appeal motions were filed in January 2016.[4] Revelation of Avery's wrongful conviction on the rape and attempted murder charges brought renewed attention to the criminal prosecution process and the possibility of false imprisonment. The state passed a law in October 2005, now known as the Criminal Justice Reform Bill, to change the process. Avery's murder trial in 2007, and its related issues, are the focus of the Netflix original documentary Making a Murderer, released in December 2015. Also covered in the series is the arrest and prosecution of his young nephew, Brendan Dassey, convicted in 2007 as an accessory.[5] In August 2016, a federal judge overturned Dassey's conviction on the grounds that his confession had been unconstitutionally coerced..........Photographer Teresa Halbach disappeared on October 31, 2005; her last known appointment was a meeting with Avery, at his home on the grounds of Avery's Auto Salvage, to photograph a minivan that he was offering for sale. Her vehicle was found partially concealed in the salvage yard, and bloodstains recovered from its interior matched Avery's DNA. Investigators later identified charred bone fragments found in a burn pit near Avery's home as Halbach's.[18] Avery was arrested and charged with Halbach's murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse on November 11, 2005. He had already been charged with a weapons violation as a convicted felon. Avery maintained that the murder charge was a frameup, promulgated to discredit his pending wrongful-conviction civil case. Although a judge assigned the murder investigation to the neighboring Calumet County Sheriff's Department because of Avery's suit against Manitowoc County, Manitowoc sheriff's deputies participated in repeated searches of Avery's trailer, garage, and property, unsupervised by Calumet County officers. A Manitowoc deputy found the key to Halbach's vehicle in Avery's bedroom after repeated searches by other officers. Avery's attorneys said there was a conflict of interest in their participation and suggested evidence tampering.[19] Avery's attorneys also discovered that an evidence box containing a vial of Avery's blood, collected as part of the 1985 investigation, had been unsealed and a puncture hole was visible in the stopper.[20] They speculated that the blood found in Halbach's car could have been drawn from the stored vial and planted in the vehicle to incriminate Avery; but FBI technicians tested the blood recovered from Halbach's car for EDTA, a preservative used in blood vials but not present in the human body, and found none."