Steven Avery has at least one thing to be grateful for over Thanksgiving.
A judge has ordered new testing of the evidence used to convict him in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, the Appleton, Wisconsin, Post-Crescent reports.
The order comes after Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, filed a motion seeking new DNA tests in the case. Zellner’s motion, filed in August, sought testing for scientific evidence that the attorney said didn’t exist during Avery’s trial.
Zellner also asserted in the filing that “Mr. Avery has already completed a series of tests that will conclusively establish his innocence.”
According to the Post-Crescent, most of the evidence that will undergo new testing relates to Halbach’s RAV4, which was found along the outskirts of the Avery Salvage Yard days after her disappearance. The evidence includes blood flakes from the floor of the vehicle, bloodstains from the driver’s and passenger’s seats, a swab from the car’s ignition area, and a bloodstain swab from the rear passenger door.
Zellner tweeted about the order on Wednesday, writing, “Judge just entered order for scientific testing to proceed. Steven Avery says ‘it will be a Happy Thanksgiving after all.'”
Avery became a topic of national conversation late last year, when the Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer” premiered and threw his guilt into doubt for many viewers.
While Avery received good news on Wednesday, his nephew Brendan Dassey — also convicted in Halbach’s 2005 death, and featured on “Making a Murderer” — was not so fortunate.
After a judge overturned Dassey’s conviction and ordered him to be released, a different judge ordered that he remain behind bars, granting Attorney General Brad Schimel’s emergency motion for a stay of Dassey’s release.
The ruling, issued last week, ordered that Dassey remain in prison pending the outcome of the attorney general’s appeal.