The convicted murderer Steven Allan Avery has a very interesting back story.
Steven Allan Avery first made headlines when he was wrongly convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder – a crime for which he spent eighteen years in prison.
But it wouldn’t be the last the world heard of him. Here’s all you need to know about the convicted murderer who shot to fame on Netflix.
Who is Steven Avery?
Avery is an American convicted murderer from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, who had previously been wrongly convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985. After serving 18 years of a 32-year sentence, he was exonerated by DNA testing and released, and in 2003 he sued Manitowoc County, its former sheriff, and its former district attorney for $36 million over wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
In 2005 while the civil suit was pending he was arrested over another murder and two years later was sentenced to life in prison.
Avery’s 2007 murder trial and its associated issues are the focus of the 2015 Netflix original documentary series Making a Murderer, which also covered the arrest and 2007 conviction of Avery’s teenage nephew, Brendan Dassey.
Is he still in prison?
Yes, and he will be for the foreseeable future, as he was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Who was he wrongfully convicted of assaulting?
In July 1985, Penny Beerntsen was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted while jogging by a Lake Michigan beach.
Avery was arrested after the victim picked him from a photo lineup, and later from a live lineup as well.
Although Avery was 40 miles away in Green Bay shortly after the attack— an alibi supported by a time-stamped store receipt and 16 eyewitnesses —he was still handed a 32 year sentence after being convicted of rape and attempted murder.
Who was his real victim?
The 56-year-old was convicted for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, who disappeared on October 31 2005.
Her last known appointment was photographing Avery’s sister’s minivan at his salvage yard.
What’s the latest with the case?
Both Steven and his nephew have maintained their innocence and are fighting the case.
In the trailer for the second season of the documentary, Kathleen Zellner, Steven’s latest attorney says: “I have one goal and that’s to overturn the conviction of Steven Avery.”
“The deeper we dig into the Avery conviction, the more evidence we uncover of his innocence.”
“It does not matter how long it takes, what it costs or what obstacles we have to overcome — our efforts to win Mr Avery’s freedom will never stop.”
Season two of Making a Murderer premiered on Nextflix October 19.
This article appeared in our sister paper, The i