MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - Motion granted. The Court of Appeals District 2 on Thursday granted the state's last-minute motion seeking more time to respond to Steven Avery's latest request for a new trial in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.
The state now has until February 11, 2020, to submit its response.
Avery is appealing his 2007 conviction of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide in the murder of freelance photographer Halbach. Halbach disappeared Oct. 31, 2005, after being called to the Avery Salvage Yard to photograph vehicles for a magazine. Investigators say Halbach's remains were found in a burn pit on the Avery property.
It's a local murder case that gained international attention with the Netflix docu-series "Making A Murderer."
In October, Avery attorney Kathleen Zellner filed a 32,241-word brief asking the Wisconsin Appeals court to grant Avery a new trial or evidentiary hearing.
On Nov. 12, Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Lisa Kumfer filed a Motion to Extend Time with the Court of Appeals District 2. The state's brief was due the next day, Wednesday, Nov. 13.
Avery's appeal was moved to Wisconsin Appeals Court after Sheboygan County Circuit Court Judge Angela Sutkiewicz denied Avery a new trial.
In her brief, Zellner presented 10 "complex legal issues" that she asks the Appeals court to consider. CLICK HERE for complete coverage of the Avery brief.
In one of those points, Zellner says the circuit court was mistaken in denying Avery's supplemental motion regarding human bones in the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit.
Avery filed a motion for a new trial based on alleged violations of Arizona v. Youngblood. Zellner says violations occurred when bone fragments found in a gravel pit were handed over to the Halbach family without informing Avery. Zellner says evidence was likely destroyed.
"Based on the foregoing, Mr. Avery set forth sufficient material facts pertaining to the destruction of apparently exculpatory or potentially exculpatory human bone fragments to warrant an evidentiary hearing. Despite the circuit court’s erroneous ruling to the contrary, Mr. Avery is entitled to such a hearing on his claims because the material facts he alleged in his supplemental motion, (i.e., who, what, when, where, why, and how) are sufficient to show that he is entitled to relief," says Zellner.
CLICK HERE to read Zellner's 135-page brief
Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide. He appealed his case up to the United States Supreme Court. The justices declined to hear arguments.
Dassey's attorneys have asked Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to grant clemency. The Dassey defense team has asked Evers for two forms of relief--either a pardon or a commutation. A commutation would shorten Dassey's life sentence.
CLICK HERE for full coverage of Dassey's clemency request.
Dassey was 16 at the time he was interrogated about the Teresa Halbach murder. His attorneys argue investigators used improper techniques while interrogating a juvenile with a low IQ. They say investigators made false promises to Dassey that he'd be released if he told them about the killing.
Attorney Laura Nirider says 1.6 million people have been following the clemency effort across social media platforms. CLICK HERE to view the pardon petition.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says, "I think that the governor's office will review the petition if they set up a process that I'm sure will give thoughtful and careful consideration of all petitions that are filed, and I'm confident that the governor's office will look at the facts and make an appropriate judgment."
Action 2 News will continue to update the latest developments in the Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey cases.