Two Of Steven Avery's Jurors Were Related To County Officials, Dismissed Juror Alleges
It doesn’t look like the fall-out from Netflix’s Making A Murderer is going away anytime soon. On Tuesday, a juror dismissed from Steven Avery's 2007 trial for the murder of Theresa Halbach said that two of Steven Avery’s jurors were related to Manitowoc County employees. Robert Mahler, a juror who was dismissed because of a family emergency, told People that after the trial, he was surprised to find out there might have been a conflict of interest on the part of two other members of the jury. Mahler told People:
After the trial, I found out...[one juror] was the father of a Manitowoc County Sheriff's deputy. Another juror, his wife works for the Manitowoc County Clerk's Office.
Romper reached out to the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office and the office of former District Attorney Ken Kratz for comment on the juror's claims but did not immediately receive a response.
Mahler also told the magazine that before he left there were seven jurors who thought Avery was innocent, three guilty and two undecided. Mahler says that he doesn’t know what happened after he was dismissed and that he “wonders every day” what would have happened if he had stayed.
Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, the films directors, said on the Today Show Tuesday that another juror believes Steven Avery was framed. Ricciardi claimed:
[The juror] told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty. They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin.
Ricciardi and Demos say that they haven’t been able to confirm the juror’s claims, but that the juror said they were threatened into choosing a guilty verdict for Avery.
Avery supporters are evidently intrigued by the claims:
So a Avery juror says they voted to convict out of fear for safety. If true that's an interesting development— Kelly Crombie (@kellyjcrombie) January 5, 2016
Since the release of the documentary, two petitions have been signed by over 200,000 people asking for President Obama to pardon Avery and Brendon Dassey, his nephew who was also convicted for the murder of Theresa Halbach. The only way that Avery will be granted a new trial is if new evidence is found, Dean Strang, Avery's defense attorney for the 2007 Halbach trial, told The New York Daily News.
Meanwhile, current Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann claims that footage in the documentary was “manipulated,” according to Rolling Stone. Likewise, former prosecutor Ken Kratz has said that evidence clearly incriminating Steven Avery, like DNA on Halbach’s car, was left out of the series. He told Maxim that he didn’t give interviews to the filmmakers so as not to be “set up.”
If viewers thought the story and trial were complicated in the documentary, the ensuing events may prove even more convoluted and dramatic.
Images: Netflix; Youtube