View Full Version : Wrongly Convicted Rapist Now a Suspect


Seinatra
11-08-2005, 02:40 PM
Anyone following this one? Its big news in Wisconsin.

He did 18 years in prison and was exonerated a couple of years ago and was in the process of suing the county for 36 million dollars.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov05/368730.asp

Avery feels confined
Search for evidence keeps him away from home
By TOM KERTSCHER
tkertscher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 7, 2005

Town of Stephenson - The family cabin at the end of potholed Highline Lane is supposed to be a refuge for Steven Avery. But on Monday, he might as well have been locked up here.

"Sometimes, I got to break down," Avery said, admitting he can't help but cry at times. "I try not to let it happen."

Unlike 20 years ago, when he was jailed and falsely accused of committing a sexual assault, Avery is not charged with any crime in the disappearance of Teresa Halbach of Hilbert. But even if he wanted to leave the cabin, north of Crivitz, he couldn't go home.

For the third day, investigators scoured the family's property in Manitowoc County. Neither Avery nor his parents and brother, who all have homes on the property and work at the family auto salvage yard there, were allowed on the property.

To Avery, the waiting and worrying now is worse than when he was charged with the sexual assault in Manitowoc County in 1985.

At that time, Avery said he believed he would be released after a short jail stay because he had done nothing wrong. As it turned out, Avery was convicted and not released until after 18 years in prison, when DNA evidence proved he didn't commit the assault.

But now, Avery said, the worry is worse. Not only was he wrongly convicted once before, he reasoned, but this time investigators have time to plant evidence, maybe to block the $36 million lawsuit he filed.

"They tried the first time, and I did 18 (years). I suppose they want to fix it so they don't have to pay any money out," Avery said.

Investigators said over the weekend that Avery was among the last people to see Halbach, who took a photograph Oct. 31 at his home. She had been to his home several times in the past year to take photos of vehicles Avery sold.

Volunteers found Halbach's Toyota Rav4 on Avery family property Saturday, but the 25-year-old woman is still missing. She was reported missing to Calumet County authorities Thursday.

Investigators announced Monday that they had found "significant" evidence, including some from Halbach's vehicle. They refused to discuss the evidence. Authorities investigating Halbach's disappearance have said repeatedly that the case is being treated as a missing person case, not a crime, and that the Avery family has been very cooperative with them.

Meanwhile Monday, officials announced that Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz has been named special prosecutor in the case. Manitowoc County District Attorney Mark Rohrer said he wanted an independent prosecutor to lead the investigation to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest because Avery is suing the county over his wrongful conviction.

Avery said he would continue to take a day at a time but said he sometimes feels like he should strap a camcorder on his body.

"I'm going through it again?" Avery said, recalling his wrongful conviction case. "They're going to get me sooner or later."

Seinatra
11-09-2005, 06:36 PM
http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov05/369294.asp

Avery arrested for possession of a firearm
Sheriff says evidence collected on family's property is 'of a human nature'
By TOM KERTSCHER
tkertscher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 9, 2005

Steven Avery served 18 years in prison on sexual assault charges before being exonerated last year.

Steven Avery, who has been a focus of an investigation into the disappearance of a 25-year-old woman, was arrested today on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Avery was arrested at his brother’s home in Manitowoc County shortly before 1 p.m., when he told a Journal Sentinel reporter, “I’m going to jail. I can’t talk to you no more."

Calumet County sheriff’s investigators found a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle and a .50 caliber black powder muzzle loader in the bedroom of Avery’s trailer on the family’s property outside Two Rivers on Sunday.

Possession of a firearm by Avery would be a felony because he was convicted of felony burglary in 1981 and endangering safety by conduct regardless of life in 1986.

Calumet Count Sheriff Gerald Pagel, who is leading the investigation into the disappearance of Teresa Halbach of Hilbert, said that evidence collected from the Avery family property in Manitowoc County within the past 24 hours is of a “human nature” according to an analysis by the state crime lab.

He refused to say whether a body has been recovered but said additional search warrants are being executed to obtain DNA evidence and fingerprints.

Asked why Avery, 43, was not charged until today, three days after the weapons were found, Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz said he “felt uncomfortable allowing him to remain on the streets.”

Kratz said eight other Avery family members were ordered Wednesday to submit DNA samples for testing. None of them has been arrested, he said.

Steven Avery has already provided DNA samples, Katz said.

The family members include Avery’s parents, two brothers and one sister and two of his nephews.

Kratz said the family members also were to allow photographs of any wounds on their bodies.

Kratz and Pagel refused to say where Avery was being held in jail, however, Kratz indicated that Avery might appear in court in Manitowoc County on Thursday.

Avery is suing Manitowoc County for $36 million over his wrongful conviction in a 1985 sexual assault, for which he spent 18 years in prison until he was cleared by DNA evidence. While Pagel is leading the investigation of Halbach’s disappearance, Manitowoc County sheriff’s deputies are involved in the investigation.

Seinatra
11-10-2005, 05:00 PM
Woman's remains found in salvage yard
Disappearance of Teresa Halbach classified as a homicide
By TOM KERTSCHER
tkertscher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Nov. 10, 2005

Missing Woman

Steven Avery served 18 years in prison on sexual assault charges before being exonerated last year.

Pieces of bone from an adult woman and human teeth were found on the Manitowoc County property owned by the Steven Avery's family, officials leading the investigation into the disappearance of Theresa Halbach said this afternoon.

Investigators also said that a key to the ignition to Halbach's vehicle was found in the bedroom of Steven Avery's home on the property.

Halbach's Toyota RV4 had been found on the property Saturday.

Officials said Halbach's disappearance, which was reported to Calument County authorities last Thursday, is now officially considered a homicide and the FBI has been asked to assist in the investigation.

The officials said Steven Avery, who was arrested Wednesday on an unrelated gun charge, would remain in jail at least until a court appearance Tuesday afternoon. Avery was released from prison last year after serving 18 years for a rape that DNA evidence found he did not commit.

Avery and seven of his family members had been ordered Wednesday to give samples for DNA testing but the officials refused to comment on whether any of their DNA matched DNA from evidence found on the Avery property.

Attempts were made to burn a body on the property but were not completely successful, said Calumet County Sheriff Gerald Pagel, who is heading the investigation into Halbach's disappearance.

He and Calumet County district attorney Ken Kratz, who is supervising the investigation, said they had hoped to identify the human remains by now but have not done so.

The officials also disclosed that blood was found in Halbach's vehicle, elsewhere on the Avery family property and in buildings on the property, but they refused to say more.

The officials said Steven Avery was questioned about Halbach's disappearance after his arrest Wednesday and that the interviews were recorded. They said he and all seven other Avery family members who gave DNA samples were questioned after being told they had a right to an attorney.

Steven Avery did not ask for an attorney during the questioning, said officials, who would not comment on what he said.

Halbach, 25, was last seen on Halloween when she had three appointments for Auto Trader Magazine, taking pictures of cars for sale. One stop was at the Avery salvage yard near Mishicot in Manitowoc County.

"You can probably tell that I'm a little bit shook up today with the evidence we've discovered and I think I have a right to be," said Sheriff Pagel.

He called the homicide the worst crime he has seen in 33 years in law enforcement.

Mike Halbach, one of Teresa's brothers, said, "We've braced for the worse, hoped to God it didn't happen, but it seems the worst did happen."

Dozens of family members and friends had spent days searching for any trace of Halbach near the salvage yard. Mike Halbach said earlier today that the sheriff told family members he didn't need them to search today.

Steven Avery was imprisoned in 1985 after a jury convicted him of sexual assault and a judge sentenced him to 32 years. He was freed after a law school group convinced a judge to allow new DNA testing, which linked the crime to another man already in prison for another sexual assault.

Avery has said he fears Manitowoc County officials are after him because he filed a $36 million lawsuit against the county over his wrongful conviction.


http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/nov05/369538.asp