A status hearing in the Steven Avery case is not needed. That’s the determination of the circuit court judge in charge of the ongoing appeal of Avery’s 2007 murder conviction.
Prosecutors sought a hearing based upon a request for extensive scientific testing of evidence in the case by Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner. Zellner suggests that the testing could point to someone else being the killer of photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Fallon last week asked for a hearing sometime in late October or early November.
But in a letter filed Monday, Sheboygan County Judge Angela Sutkiewicz – who took over the case from Manitowoc County Judge Patrick Willis after his retirement – said a hearing isn’t needed.
“It is the court’s understanding that the state needs a reasonable amount of time to locate and inventory the items which are the subject of the defendant’s motion and to determine which items are covered by the April 4, 2007 order of Judge Willis. As required by statute, the court is giving the state an opportunity to respond to the defendant’s motion. The court does not see the need for a status conference,” she wrote.
Avery is serving a life prison sentence after being convicted of killing Halbach. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted for his role. Dassey’s conviction was overturned earlier this year by a federal magistrate judge, but the state is appealing that ruling.
Renewed interest in the case came following the release of the Netflix series, “Making A Murderer“.