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New evidence testing will be done in "Making a Murderer" case, attorney says

MANITOWOC, Wis. -- The lawyer for a Wisconsin man convicted in a case profiled in the “Making a Murderer” Netflix series says an agreement to start independent scientific testing on several critical pieces of evidence has been signed.

Brendan Dassey from Netflix's "Making a Murderer" to be freed

USA Today Network-Wisconsin reports the agreement was filed Wednesday with Angela Sutkiewicz, the special judge appointed to oversee Steven Avery’s appeal. It comes nearly three months after Avery’s lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, pledged she had a plan to overturn his 2007 conviction.

Avery was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the 2005 death of photographer Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County.

Evidence to be tested includes a vial of blood said to be a sample of Avery’s blood.

Zellner says it’s encouraging the attorney general’s office was “helpful in expediting these tests.”

Earlier this month, a judge granted the release of Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was convicted in 2007 of helping Avery allegedly rape, kill and mutilate Halbach. But Dassey remains in prison after a federal appeals court blocked Dassey’s release

Dassey confessed to police, but has since recanted. Avery has long maintained his innocence. There was renewed interest in the case after the 2015 Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer,” which questioned, among other things, the testing done of evidence linking Avery to Halbach’s murder. 

Avery was previously convicted of rape and served 18 years in prison before eventually being exonerated when DNA testing proved his innocence. 

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