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Court of Appeals Affirms Steven Avery's Conviction for First-Degree Intentional Homicide


MADISON — Following a six-week trial in 2007, a Manitowoc County jury convicted Steven A. Avery of first-degree intentional homicide, party to the crime, in the October 31, 2005 death of a 25 year-old woman whom Avery called to photograph a vehicle at his family's salvage yard. The jury also convicted Avery of being a felon in possession of a firearm.


This morning, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals affirmed Avery's convictions, as well as a circuit court order denying Avery's request for a new trial. In its decision, the appellate court (1) rejected Avery's Fourth Amendment challenge to a search of his trailer; (2) upheld the circuit court's decision to exclude evidence that other persons near the crime scene at the time of the murder may have committed the murder; (3) upheld the circuit court's decision to remove a deliberating juror and substitute an alternate juror after deliberations began; and (4) concluded that Avery's attorneys gave him effective representation in dealing with the juror substitution.


Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, whose office participated in the prosecution of Avery in Manitowoc County circuit court and represented the State of Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, expressed his support for the appellate court's decision.


"I commend the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for fully and fairly rejecting Steven Avery's request for a new trial," said Van Hollen. "Avery committed an egregious crime and deserves to be in prison. It's my hope that today's decision brings the victim's family a step closer to closure."


The decision of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in State of Wisconsin v. Steven A. Avery, No. 2010AP411-CR, appears on the court's website:


Wisconsin Department of Corrections records indicate that Steven A. Avery remains incarcerated at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility in Boscobel, Wisconsin.


Former Calumet County District Attorney Kenneth Kratz, former Assistant Attorney General Thomas Fallon, and Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Norman Gahn served as special prosecutors in Manitowoc County Circuit Court. Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey J. Kassel represented the State of Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.