Steven Avery’s loved ones are hopeful that justice is
finally on its way.
After a federal judge in Wisconsin overturned the 2007 murder conviction
of Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, on Friday, the family told Access Hollywood
that despite their initial shock they’re aware the court ruling is a potential breakthrough.
According to Avery’s niece, Carla Chase, Avery’s mother Dolores
is “stunned” and over the moon about the development and what it
could mean for her son’s future.
“It gave her
the hope that she’s been waiting for,” Chase told Access.
After separate trials, Avery and Dassey were both found guilty for the 2005 killing
of Teresa Halbach and each sentenced to life in prison. The men were the key subjects of the popular Netflix docuseries “Making a
Murderer,” which premiered on the streaming network last December and put
the case back in the national spotlight.
Avery’s brother Earl told Access that the family was still processing
the news on Friday, adding that the reality hadn’t quite hit any of them yet.
Earl, Chase, Dolores and Earl’s daughter Kayla were on their
way to visit Avery at the Waupun Correctional Institute when they learned Dassey’s
conviction had been overturned.
According to Earl, Avery thought it was a hoax when they
Dassey, now 26,
was a teenager at the time of his conviction and Earl told Access that the
ordeal has been incredibly tough.
been through a lot sitting up in Green Bay with all those guys,” Earl said
of his nephew’s prison experience.
been terrible,” he added.
Dassey is currently incarcerated at the Columbia
Correctional Institution and will go free within 90 days per the judge’s order, unless prosecutors opt to retry him.
Chase told Access
that Dassey’s mother, Barbara Tadych, is in Michigan for the weekend and had
already left town when the news broke. Earl said he informed Dassey’s father,
Alan, over the phone.
As previously reported, Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner
issued a statement to Access Hollywood after Friday’s ruling.
thrilled for Brendan Dassey that his conviction has been overturned. We fully
expected this outcome from an unbiased court that carefully examined his
confession,” her statement read.
Zellner said she is also
optimistic about what the development could mean for her client.
“I was just
visiting Steven Avery and he is so happy for Brendan,” she
continued. “We know when an unbiased court reviews all of the new
evidence we have, Steven will have his conviction overturned as well.”
Murderer” filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moria Demos shared their reaction
to Dassey’s overturned conviction and hinted that their series may chronicle this
latest turn of events.
there was a major development for the subjects in our story and this recent
news shows the criminal justice system at work,” they said in a statement
released to Access Hollywood on Friday. “As we have done for the past 10
years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it
wherever it may lead.”
Access Hollywood has
reached out to Manitowoc Sheriff’s department for comment.
Access Hollywood has
reached out to the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Office to ask whether
or not they will refile charges.
— Erin Biglow
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