‘Making A Murderer:’ Steven Avery Innocent? Mike Riddle, James Lenk, Andrew Colborn Conspiracy Revisited
There has been a lot of talk surrounding the conviction of Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery since the series aired in December last year.Advertisement
The evidence used in the case has been a subject of debate. As the case progresses, parallels are being drawn with another high-profile Wisconsin murder case, where fingerprint evidence led to a different verdict.
Last year, truck driver Dennis Brantner was charged with the 1990 murder of aspiring musician Berit Beck. Beck was abducted from a mall parking lot in Fond du Lac; her body was discovered five weeks later in a ditch. Nine of the suspect’s fingerprints were found on five objects associated with Beck’s van. However, they were not enough to convict Branter.
Following deliberations that lasted for three days, a unanimous verdict could not be reached by the jurors and the judge declared the case a mistrial, as reported by Post Crescent.
In the case of Avery, convicted in 2007 for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, Wisconsin State Crime Lab Mike Riddle testified that eight latent fingerprints were recovered from the victim’s Toyota RAV4.
Avery previously spent 18 years in prison on a sexual assault charge before DNA evidence in 2003 proved he was not involved in the crime. However, two years later he was arrested for the murder of Halbach; and was convicted in 2007. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also arrested for acting as his uncle’s accomplice in the crime.
Fingerprints were discovered on water bottles in the front of the vehicle, plastic CD case, a granola bag wrapper, towards the back of the vehicle including near the tail light and inside front passenger and back passenger windows.
The defense team argued that the evidence was planted by Lieutenant James Lenk and Sergeant Andrew Colborn, evidence that included drops of blood near the key ignition and inside the passenger door of the vehicle. A spare key of Halbach’s vehicle was also discovered in Avery’s bedroom, which wasn’t discovered in the previous searches.
Avery is currently serving a sentence of life in prison.