Exclusive: New Forensic Test Could Be Steven Avery’s ‘Secret Weapon’

Have
Steven Avery’s attorneys found a “secret weapon”?

Avery’s
defense team has undertaken new investigative tests for the “Making a
Murderer” subject, who is currently serving a life sentence for
first-degree murder, and they have his family hoping for his exoneration.

Access
Hollywood’s Stephanie Bauer spoke exclusively with Steven’s brother, Earl, and
niece, Brittany, at the Avery property in Manitowoc County, Wis., about a
forensic procedure that could uncover crucial physical evidence. 

The
pair claims that Kathleen Zellner, the new attorney representing Steven, used a
substance called Luminol to try and detect trace amounts of blood around the
locations where authorities allege Teresa Halbach was raped and killed in 2005.

“They
sprayed the whole house,”
Earl said. 

Despite
the time that’s passed since Halbach’s death, criminal justice professor Nathan
Lents, who is not involved in the Avery case, told Access that Luminol is a
potentially reliable tool when used in the proper environment.

“If
they are testing a crime scene that hasn’t been touched or disturbed a great
deal, even years, decades later, a Luminol test could still be very
effective,”
Lents said.

While
DNA tests would still be required to determine whose blood, if any, is found,
Lents explained why the method should hold up.

“The
degradation that happens in a blood sample over time doesn’t affect the iron.
So, a Luminol test can be used on very old very dried blood samples and still
give a very good positive,”
Lents said. “In fact, it actually gets
better over time because some of the agents that would interfere with the
signal get degraded, but the iron doesn’t. Iron doesn’t go anywhere.”

Halbach’s
family told Access that they have not seen “Making a Murderer” and
don’t plan to issue any public statements, but Steven’s family seemed
optimistic about appealing his conviction.

“Hopefully
she does better than the last two,”
Earl said, comparing Zellner to
Steven’s previous lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, who were featured in
the hit Netflix documentary.

“They
probably did a good job, but look at where [Steven] is,”
he added. 

— Erin Biglow

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