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Why New Evidence In Teresa Halbach's 'Making A Murderer' Case Could Exonerate Steven Avery

Photo: Netflix
Steven Avery from Netflix's Making a Murderer

Netflix docuseries "Making A Murderer" put the case of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach on the map.

Now, new evidence suggests Steven Avery, the man at the heart of the series who was convicted of her murder in 2007, may potentially be innocent.

Halbach’s mother first reported her missing on November 3, 2005. Two days later, volunteer searchers found her vehicle at Avery Salvage Yard.

During the investigation, Halbach's bones and teeth were found in Avery’s fire pit, her key was found in Avery’s room, and his blood was found in her car.

Avery's defense argues these were all planted.

Avery was charged with first-degree murder, illegal possession of a firearm and mutilation of a corpse. He was found guilty on the first two counts and aquitted on the third.

His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was arrested and charged as accessory, and later convicted of convicted of murder, rape, and mutilation of the corpse.

What is the new evidence some say could be enough to set Steven Avery free?

A new witness has come forward with information Avery's attorneys say was previously ignored by law enforcement.

Thomas Sowinski, a delivery driver for Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers, offered testimony that puts Bobby Dassey, another of Avery’s nephews and Brendan's, at the crime scene allegedly moving evidence defense attorneys believe could implicate Bobby Dassey in the crime — and potentially prove Avery's innocence.

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Sowinski says he was delivering papers to the Avery Salvage Yard the morning of November 5, 2005.

Upon entering the property, he says he saw a Bobby Dassey and an unidentified male pushing Halbach’s dark blue RAV-4 down Avery Road towards Avery Salvage Yard.

After delivering the papers, Sowinski attempted to leave the property but Dassey stepped in front of his car to block him. Sowinski swerved into a ditch to escape Dassey and make his exit.

When Sowinski saw the car in the news, he called the police to report the incident but alleges that all they said to him in response was, “We already know who did it.”

This evidence has only just come to light after Sowinski signed an affidavit stating he contacted the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office when he saw Halbach's car in the news and that he witnessed Bobby Dassey and another man moving her vehicle.

Bobby was a key witness against Avery in his trial.

Avery’s lawyer Kathleen Zellner said, "I think Steven Avery never would have been convicted had this evidence been known during his trial, and it destroys Bobby Dassey's credibility and links him to the crime.”

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Teresa Halbach was born in 1980 and grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. She enjoyed the outdoors and helping animals.

She was one of five children, with two brothers and two sisters.

She loved to travel and, as a college student, she visited New Zealand, Spain, Mexico, and Australia.

Her friend’s described her as an outgoing and brave person. “We were always up to something. It took a lot to scare her.”

Avery’s defense team hopes that this new information will lead to Avery’s and Brandon Dassey’s exoneration.

And if this information leads to the arrest of Bobby Dassey, the murder of Teresa Halbach will finally have been solved.

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Leeann Reed is a writer who covers news, pop culture, and love, and relationship topics.