A lawyer for Steven Avery requested a new trial Wednesday and made a stunning accusation in the case made famous by Making a Murderer: Kathleen Zellner's 1,272-page filing claims Ryan Hillegas, ex-boyfriend of murder victim Teresa Halbach, is the real killer. Hillegas led the volunteer search for Halbach after she disappeared in November 2005, the Law Newz blog reports. Avery is serving life for the murder and has long claimed that he was framed by vindictive authorities. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted in the case, but his conviction was overturned by a federal court in Wisconsin last summer.
In Zellner's filing, she suggests that Manitowoc County sheriff's deputies conspired with Hillegas to plant evidence—including Halbach's vehicle—in Avery's salvage yard, WISN reports. She says that during the original trial, Avery's lawyers lacked the experts who could prove that evidence had been planted. Trial attorney Dean Strang tells the AP he is glad Zellner filed the motion. "All that really matters here, to us and we hope to everyone, is that we get closer to the truth in this case and to justice for everyone," he says. (Zellner is having key pieces of evidence independently retested.)