Here are the requested courtblogs from WFRV as requested by the one whose username starts with 4 letters and ends with 2 numbers. Reddit character limit forces me to split the blogs in two posts. This is only a partial archive, going back in time 11 years does have it's limitations :). Enjoy. Will Steven Avery testify?
That’s a question many people are wondering as the defense continues its case. So far we’ve heard from a bus driver who saw a woman taking photos near the Avery property, but can’t say with any certainty when. Next a propane delivery driver who was on Avery road on Halloween of 2005, who claims to have seen a green SUV driving away from the Avery Salvage yard between 3:30 and 4pm, an hour after the prosecution says Teresa Halbach was murdered. But again, he can’t say if the driver was a man or woman. Plus a man who owns the trailer where Avery lived and the .22 caliber rifle inside the home, thought to be the murder weapon. He says he fired over 3,000 shots over the years on the property, and the defense wants the jury to believe he‘s the possible source of 11 shell casings recovered by investigators.
We would expect to hear from a forensic expert to contradict the bone fragments in the burn pit or the DNA on the bullet pulled from the garage. You would hope for direct evidence of two vengeful law enforcement officers out to get Avery, for the shame they felt about prolonging his time in prison for a wrongful rape conviction. But where’s that one piece of evidence that shows the prosecution has got it all wrong straight from the mouth of the accused? Where’s Steven Avery?
If Avery took the witness stand, he could tell all what happened on Halloween of 2005. He’s really the only one who knows.
If you were facing life behind bars, wouldn’t you want to speak on your own behalf? If I were on the jury, I would want to hear what he has to say. But it obviously would be a huge gamble, and it’s still unclear if the defense is ready to take that chance. Posted by Kris Schuller at Mar 9, 2007 11:09 am False Imprisonment Charge Thrown Out
The false imprisonment charge Steve Avery faced has been thrown out.
The decision came Monday morning as Judge Patrick Willis ruled on three motions filed by the defense last Friday. The judge ruled there simply wasn’t enough evidence presented during the trial to support the charge. The prosecution had argued that Teresa Halbach had to have been held against her will and forced into the garage, where they say she was murdered by at least two shots to the head from a .22 caliber rifle by Avery. The defense had argued that charge was only added after the other suspect charged in Halbachs murder, but facing a separate trial, Brendan Dassey, confessed back in March of last year of being involved in the murder. He later recanted his confession and faces trial in April.
But the court ruled against dismissing all of the charges as requested by the defense. The court also ruled the DNA evidence found on the bullet inside Avery’s garage would not be suppressed and that the police did nothing wrong during their week long search of the Avery property. So motions to suppress evidence collected from the burn pit and other areas of the Avery Salvage yard can still be considered by the jury.
The judge is now individually talking to jurors to make sure they have been following his order not to watch, read, of listen to media coverage of this case.
This case is quickly winding down. Expect it to go to the jury within the next few days. Posted by Kris Schuller at Mar 12, 2007 9:12 am Motions To Supress 'Magic Bullet' Denied
False Imprisonment Charge Dropped, Motions to Supress Evidence, “Magic” Bullet: Denied Steven Avery’s attorneys won one battle today. Judge Willis agreed that the State did not present enough evidence to prove the charge.
Dean Strang and Jerry Buting lost the motions asking to suppress the bullet with Teresa Halbach’s DNA on it, and the motion asking to throw out the evidence in the burn barrel and burn pit, since authorities did not obtain a new search warrant when they searched those areas. Judge Willis said the cops had five days to execute that warrant. Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 12, 2007 1:19 pm What About Teresa Halbach?
Everyday, I drive to the Calumet County Courthouse by myself. It’s a nice, pretty drive, and it gives me some “alone” time before and after work. And many times, I drive through Teresa Halbach’s neighborhood to get there.
Calumet County is Halbach Country. This is where the Halbach family lives, and you can feel the pain that still lingers here from her Teresa’s death.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve heard a lot of testimony about Teresa’s bones, her DNA, her Daisy Fuentes jeans and even her teeth. Sprinkled in between all of that was testimony from her mom (which broke my heart), her younger sister Katie, and her brother Mike. They bring you the human face to the person some of us never knew. But other than that, at times it seems Teresa Halbach gets lost among the science lessons about chemicals and vials of blood and the difference between tires with steel belts and those without.
I was sitting upstairs yesterday, while Judge Willis conducted individual voir dire of the jurors. I parked myself outside of Judge Willis’s chambers and talked with Mike Halbach for a few minutes. He’s a real sweetie and he’s getting married this summer, without his sister to stand by him. It really got me thinking. I don’t know how this family does it. They sit through these long days in court, and their lives will never be the same. We could all learn something from the Halbachs... and from Teresa.
There’s a photo of Teresa that I first saw the day Ken Kratz announced that Steven Avery would be charged with her murder. My colleague, Olga Halaburda, attended the news conference, and I went to a prayer service at St. John Sacred Hearth Church in Sherwood. I remember sitting in the church as the Halbachs filed in, sitting in the first pew. Mike wasn’t there, but all of the other siblings were in attendance. The hymn “On Eagle’s Wings” played as the service ended. That song will always remind me of Teresa Halbach.
That day, I was live at 5 and 6 outside of the church, near a candle that had been lit several days before as the community prayed for Teresa’s safe return. Next to the candle sat the cutest photo of a little girl that I think I’ve ever seen. It was Teresa Halbach, clad in a blue dress, sitting inside of a tractor tire. Next to it, sat a Reader’s Digest with The Beatles on the cover (that was Teresa’s favorite band). The magazine was sealed in a Ziploc bag with a post it stating, “May angels be with you on your journey.” Every time that I see that photo, it reminds me why we are here. Not that I’ve ever forgotten, but in between the talk of burn barrels and finger prints and DNA, sometimes you have to put her out of your mind, or at least tuck her in the back. Sometimes, you just have to do that to get through the day, so you can do your job and meet your deadline. But we must remember one thing: If the Halbachs can sit through court and listen to this, then we can, too. We must.
I snapped a picture of this photo using my digital camera at Seven Angels Restaurant here in Chilton. The Halbachs are regular customers there, and the Sabani family owns it. They’re some of the nicest people that I’ve ever met. They make me feel at home every time I go there, and it’s nice to sit there and get a feel for what the community is thinking and feeling. People are very interested in the outcome of this trial, and they love the Halbach family and Teresa. This photo is hanging in the front entrance of the restaurant. You can’t miss it; it’s right above the gum ball machine as you walk in.
But, maybe the next time we hear expert testimony about teeth, and bone fragments and “magic bullets”, this picture will come into our minds. Teresa Halbach is a little girl who grew up to be a photographer, but never lived to comb grey hair. In a way, she’s everyone’s little sister, daughter, niece, granddaughter and friend. Her’s was a life taken too soon, and for what?
I don’t think we’ll ever really know. Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 13, 2007 10:20 am The Chilton Hilton
That’s what some of us reporters have affectionately dubbed our media room down here. It’s a big conference room in the basement of the Calumet County Courthouse. The officials here, led by Sheriff Jerry Pagel and County Administrator Bill Craig (if I’m leaving anyone out, I apologize) allowed us to transform it into a newsroom. They’ve been so nice to let us do that, because let me tell you, it beats sitting out in the truck in the middle of winter!
The time has just flown by down here. Sometimes, it seems like hours fly by like minutes. I liken this room to a casino in Las Vegas. There aren’t any windows, no clocks on the walls. You sit all day long and listen to testimony and crank out stories and before you know it, you’re sitting in front of a camera, doing live shots for the 5, and going to a news conference and slamming it together for a 6 o’clock live shot. It’s almost like they keep us fueled by pumping this place full of oxygen and feeding us a constant stream of coffee. It’s like in Vegas when the cocktail servers keep the drinks coming, free of charge, just so you’ll keep gambling!
The other day, I wrote out a check and I asked the cashier for the date, and she said, “it’s March 10.” I nearly fell over. I couldn’t believe it was March. And, there have been more than a few days when I got home around 8:30 p.m. or later, and I couldn’t remember what day it was.
We have a lot of really nice people down here in the Chilton Hilton, and we all get along. It’s a shame that we’re always so busy, and that we don’t get to talk more. We have fun when we get to chat. Mick from TMJ4 sits in front of Kris and I. Peter from FOX 6 in Milwaukee sits behind me; very nice guys. Dan from TMJ radio sits across the way with Tom from The Journal Sentinel. We go out to lunch sometimes and we’ve gone out after work a couple of times. Carrie from the AP sits at the end of my table, but she was gone for a while, which was a bummer. Colleen Henry from WISN sits across the room, and I wish that she was closer to us. She’s really interesting and I’d like to talk to her more.
Then, there are my print pals, like John Lee from the Post-Crescent! He’s my bud! I do a lot of my live shots over at the Gannett table, otherwise known as Andy Nelesen’s “front porch.” I usually leave stuff on his desk, my glasses and make up, and he always returns them. He doesn’t like it when I leave my stuff at his “house” but he puts up with me.
All of the Green Bay TV stations have people here, too. A few of us have been on this case since day one, and it’s like we’re all in it together. We’ve spent a lot of time together, whether it’s in the courtroom, or at news conferences, or in the parking lot at the Manitowoc County Courthouse, which seemed like the entire summer. We have to see it through to the end.
Everyday after court, we flock to the podium together and for the news conferences, which can be a lot of fun! The attorneys and Mike Halbach are always nice to us, and they all have good senses of humor.
I’ll get some pics of our digs posted. Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 16, 2007 8:33 pm Jury Is Done For The Night
6:28 p.m. – The jury ordered cold cuts for dinner, and then called it quits for the night.
They’ll start back up again at 8:30 a.m. and we’ll be here! Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 16, 2007 8:34 pm Juror Question #2
We learned that the jurors had a question. We're in hurry up in wait mode. So, we all arose from whatever we were doing and got into position. I wouldn’t call it organized chaos, more like just getting ready (this is what we do, so it’s pretty routine). Judge Willis was in chambers with the attorneys for a while, and then around 3:15 p.m., Judge Willis read the question.
The jurors wanted a portion of Sherry Culhane’s testimony read back to them. Culhane is the DNA analyst with the State Crime lab. She worked on Avery’s wrongful conviction case in 1985. She testified at that time that the hairs found on the victim in that case, were Steven Avery’s. DNA testing in 2003 (again conducted by Culhane) on those hairs showed they actually belonged to Gregory Allen. Culhane conducted all of the testing in this case.
The jurors wanted the testimony from Jerry Buting’s cross examination of Culhane read back to them, when she answered questions regarding the DNA testing of the .22 caliber rifle found hanging above Steven’s bed. Prosecutors say Avery used that rifle to murder Teresa Halbach. Roland Johnson, who actually owns the trailer where Avery lived, testified that gun actually belonged to him. Johnson said that he must have fired that gun 3,000 times. He liked to shoot gophers at his “weekend getaway” adjacent to the Salvage Yard.
Ok, so in the testimony, Culhane said that she swabbed several parts of the gun, including the barrel and the trigger. Culhane testified that she found neither Teresa Halbach’s nor Steven Avery’s DNA on the rifle, including the trigger guard.
The jurors returned to their deliberations.
From our count down here, Sherry Culhane was the 33rd prosecution witness to testify. If the jurors are taking this chronologically, then that means they’re just over half way through.
What do you think the question means, if anything? What do you think any of this means, if anything?
Email me and I will post your entries. Angenette Levy: [email protected] Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 17, 2007 5:22 pm Sunday Morning at the Courthouse, Deliberations Resume
Good Sunday Morning everyone! The jury arrived at 11 a.m. and resumed deliberations. They stopped at 5 p.m. last night. I heard that Sheriff Pagel offered to order some hot meals for them, and they declined. They ate the leftover cold cuts from Friday for lunch yesterday.
Some people are speculating that we’ll have a verdict by 1:00 because the Badgers game starts shortly after that. I don’t see that happening.
Anyway, Everyone is here and accounted for. Colleen Henry from WISN brought donuts for everyone. We’ve all brought food in at one point or another, and it’s always something tasty like donuts or cupcakes or something like that! Many of us are listening to music this morning as we work. It’s nice to listen to some music for the first time in a long time!
I was driving here this morning on my usual route and the Lionel Richie song, “Easy Like Sunday Morning” started playing in my head. It stopped when I drove past Sacred Heart Church in Sherwood. Cars were pulling in for church. It was sad to see all of the blue ribbons by the church, even though I’ve seen them many times before.
I want to thank everyone who has emailed me. I really enjoy reading your emails, and as I’ve said before, keep ‘em comin’.
Here are some of you responses regarding Juror Question #2 and other items dealing with the trial.
More later, I promise. Sounds like to me a mistrial or years and years of appeals is in the offing. I would very much like to see what odds Vegas would put on this trial if they even knew about it.
It scares me. I think they DO find serious doubt in the truth of Sherry Culhane's testimony. I know if I were on the jury, I would doubt her, no questions asked! She ONLY deviated on THIS case in how many years? I find HIGH doubt in that. Like the 'evidence' shows, the cops left her a message stating they wanted her to place Teresa in his house. But, as for other evidence, it just seems fishy. No, I don't actually think the police planted evidence, but I also am not 100% convinced Steven Avery did it! I have watched about 99% of the trial on the live stream. What an exhausting case. I do enjoy reading your journal and wanted to tell you so! Glad you got a cushion for at least some comfort. Hope this trial is over soon, for the sake of the Halbach's and all involved. As I said, I am on the fence and either way the jury decides, I can see how they would be unsure and glad I'm not one of them!!! I DO think he could have done it and may get away with it because 18 years in prison-he wasn't just sitting there...it probably warped him (more) and possibly gave him ways to get away with it! I also can't wait for his nephew, Brendan's, trial to get under way. I wonder how long that will take. In my opinion, I don't care how mentally unfit, nobody (hardly anyone) says they did that sort of thing if they didn't. That also is why I think more than not the Steven did do it.
OH-I also think Judge Willis is AWESOME! He's SO fair, I was surprised by that, to see such a fair judge-yeah, rare, isn't it. No Judge Ito here! (Thank God)
Mary Howard’s Grove, WI
I think the question is favorable to Steven Avery. They are piecing together the obvious things. If he raped her and did whatever in his trailer, there would have to be DNA of her in there somewhere (be it a single hair on the bed or in the carpet). If he shot her in the head from close range, the would be splatter in the barrel, which there wasn't.
I think based on the fact the jury is out this long and that type of question was asked, there are more people in the jury room trying to sway a not guilty verdict then the other way around.
Mark in Charlotte, NC
Quite a defense Avery put up--huh? Let me see, a gopher shooting, absentee dementiated landlord, some wicken lab auditor who could not definiately contradict the lab analysis but was probably paid very well just to put up some smoke, and some other bozos that could NOT factually impeach any of the prosecutions evidence or exhibits. Now, if you were Avery and truely innocent--would you not want to take the stand and try to convince the jurors? I would demand it. So would any innocent person. But he did not want the opportunity.
I thought both sides did a good job in their closing. The defense had little to work with, but created as much smoke as they could. Contrary to what you think, I want the defense to do a good job, in that way there is little chance of winning a new trial on appeal. Ken did a good job also, considering the magnitutude of all the evidence. I just wish he had a lower and stronger voice--sorta sounds like a cross between a whiney Wayne Newton and Michael Jackson at times. Some well placed theatrics should also have been used. Ken is pretty square.
I heard that if Avery gets off, that he is moving in to an apartment with Robert Blake and OJ Simpson, so they can pool their resources searching for the "real killers". I am moving to Canada where they have Smith and Wesson justice. Just kidding.
The Hallbach family is one class act. Sometimes in the heat of the battle, we lose sight of their grief. I tell this to everyone: if that had been my daughter, there would not be an Avery trial, and I would be behind bars charged and awaiting sentencing--because I would admit to everything. Eye for an eye...well, it even goes beyond that.
Mark from the Valley
I also get chuckles out of Mr. Buting. I have said to more than one person,"If I ever get in trouble I want those two guys defending me". Now, I do not ever anticipate that, but I think the defense has done a superb job of making the reasonable doubt a real possibility with the jurors. It has been fascinating for me to listen to both sides while at work through your network, and I am so glad I am not on that jury. I have my beliefs both ways of Mr. Avery but I will keep my thoughts to myself and see what the jury does.
Like him? About as much as a 10 foot cobra! The man is condescending, vastly rude and can take any fact and twist it to his version of the truth.
Why is everyone else stupid except him?
Both Mr. Buting and Mr. Strang have played on the sympathy of "poor" Mr. Avery, sent to prison for all those years for something he didn't do. That has no relevance to what was done to Ms. Halbach and to this crime. Does the fact of being sent to prison unjustly exonerate one from brutally murdering an innocent person? And if you have intelligently followed this trial, you will know that Mr. Avery did, without a doubt, commit this crime.
Both Mr. Buting and Mr. Strang just leave a very sour taste in one's mouth. Their smug superiority is very irritating and I feel detracts from their message.
I think if I were a juror, Mr. Kratz's famous powerpoint presentation would be helpful. Verbal and visual reminder of what was presented. I liked his style, he was easier to listen to than the defense. Although at times, I felt maybe a bit too ingratiating. But overall, I think he did an exemplary job of laying out the facts.
Barb S. Green Bay Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 19, 2007 4:38 pm When The Verdict Came In
Around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, everyone down in the Calumet Casino (a.k.a. The Chilton Hilton) started to wonder, “what in the world are we going to do for a story today?” None of us anticipated a verdict, and we were all brainstorming. We thought, “well, maybe they’ll (the jurors) come up with a question.” I wanted to do a story with all of the attorneys, asking them what was the longest they’d ever waited for a verdict. None of them seemed interested, then I approached Sheriff Pagel and he didn’t think he would be allowed to comment due to the gag order.
So, I started to walk upstairs around my best estimate of 4:44 p.m. to fish around for another story. I was on the phone with my producer Michael as I approached the stairwell leading to the lobby and was met by Sheriff Pagel, a line of reporters trailing after him. Colleen was directly behind him and I can’t remember who else was there, but I joined the line of reporters and followed them inside, and told Michael that I would call him back.
I expected Sheriff Pagel to say, “the jury’s done for the day.” Instead, he said, “ok, we have a verdict.” I flipped open my cell phone, got the phone tree going and started to get ready. Everyone dropped what he or she was doing, and picked up phones. Remember, this is what we do. It’s our “hurry up and wait” mode, and when the waiting’s over, we spring into action. It’s an autopilot type thing, and it’s hard to describe, but your heart kind of pounds and you get this tunnel vision, and forget about everything else. You have one focus, and that’s get the story right, and get it on the air as soon as possible. For example, I had been suffering from shooting pain in my back and legs for two days prior to this, and the second Sheriff Pagel made the announcement, all of the pain disappeared.
I was to be stationed outside but I had time to watch the verdict from the media room off of the courtroom. I’ve been on this case since the beginning, so I had to see it up close. There wasn’t room in the courtroom for me, but the media room was just fine with me. John and Dewey from the Post-Crescent were in there, along with Morry from the AP (nice guy, great still photographer) and so was Fred Berry from WOMT.
We’d been waiting for this for nearly 18 months. It was judgement day. The courtroom was packed with Halbach family members. Steven Avery’s mom Dolores arrived, but her husband, Allan, was not present. Dolores’s brother was there, along with Steve’s aunt Ivonne. They’ve been in this spot with Steve before and the last time he went to prison for 18 years.
I was looking around and the attorneys appeared calm, yet tense. Some Calumet cops kept peeking into the media room, I think they were just making sure everything was okay. Then, I saw a couple of faces that I hadn’t seen in weeks, but they were two faces I’d seen many times before: Manitowoc County Sheriff Rob Hermann and Inspector Gregg Schetter, the Manty County Cops. I greeted Sheriff Hermann, who I’d met at a news conference nearly a year and a half ago. He’s a nice guy and I’ve seen him a lot over the last several months. Rob was standing next to me, it was pretty much standing room only in our media room. Morry climbed up on a chair to get a picture or 10 of Steve as they brought him in.
To quote Simon and Garfunkel, the only thing that you could hear was the “sound of silence” and camera clicking.
Everyone in the courtroom sat down, the jury was brought in. I watched as they walked in because I wanted to see whether they would look at Steve. I’ve often heard that jurors delivering a not guilty verdict will look at the defendant. These jurors did not appear to look at Steve as they walked in, but we had no idea of what the verdict would be.
The papers were handed to Judge Willis and he started to read, “We the jury find the defendant Steven A. Avery guilty of first degree intentional homicide.” I stood there frozen, and I didn’t even hear the second count being read, when Judge Willis said the jurors reached a not guilty verdict on the mutilation of a corpse charge. By all appearances, the courtroom was silent.
Judge Willis thanked the jurors for their service. That was my cue to get outside. I marched down the hallway with another reporter, and we walked outside, and got into position in front of our cameras. Chelly Boutott was there and she was trying to get interviews with people leaving the courthouse.
We then went down to the media room and Mike Halbach was speaking. It was very touching. He said that his family would be keeping the Averys in their prayers, since they too have suffered a great loss. What a class act, with all they’ve been through.
Then Dean Strang and Jerome Buting spoke. They were disappointed. They believe in Steven. I’ve never seen two attorneys advocate so strongly for a client. They worked very hard for Steven Avery.They are to be commended. They’re very nice guys.
Then Special Prosecutor Ken Kratz and the Calumet and Manitowoc County cops came down. It’s been a long road for them, and they’ve worked hard to see that justice would be served for Teresa Halbach and her family. They all look tired. It was weird sitting there , watching this Wall O’ Law Enforcement. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time with these guys over the last 18 months whether it was at court or at news conferences. Cops sometimes get a bad wrap, but I can tell you, these cops the Manitowoc and Calumet guys were thinking of one thing throughout this case, and that was: Teresa Halbach.
What did you think of the verdict? Did you watch? We may post your response. Posted by Angenette Levy at Mar 20, 2007 8:47 pm Cross Examination of Dr. Gordon
Ken Kratz accused Dr. Gordon of “cherry picking” by choosing to put things in his report that would favor Brendan Dassey’s assertion that his confession was false, and the result of suggestion by investigators.
Ken Kratz cited a question Dassey was asked. Dassey said that he believed it was true that anyone would lie to keep out of trouble. Gordon said that the testing he used was not suitable to determine whether Dassey could be diagnosed with anti-social personality disorder, or anti-social tendencies. Anti-social personality disorder is defined as:
“A psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM-IV-TR recognizable by the disordered individual's disregard for social rules and norms, impulsive behavior, and indifference to the rights and feelings of others.”
Kratz also cited the difference between suggestibility and a truly false confession. He pointed out studies about false confessions.
There are three types of confessions:
1) Voluntary 2) Coerced, compliant – the subject perceives a gain 3) Coerced, internalized – the subject convinces herself or himself that they committed the crime
Kratz: Their studies indicate that most false confessions are the result of very long interrogations, sometimes that last into the days, rather than just an hour.
Kratz said Dassey started to make admissions about 60 minutes into his 3 to 4 hour interrogation.
Gordon conceded that Dassey’s low IQ which has been estimated between 73 and 81, his shyness and other personality traits, could make him susceptible to giving a true or false confession.
Gordon reiterated that his testing was designed to show how suggestible Dassey might be, not the truthfulness of his statement. Apr 24, 2007 9:38 pm The Dane County 15
Let me tell you, Brendan Dassey couldn’t ask for a better jury, in my opinion. These people are a smart, smart bunch. They seem attentive and considerate and open-minded.
11 women and four men sit on the jury. A woman was dismissed last Friday due to illness. I have watched them when I’ve been in the courtroom. A few look a little tired, but otherwise they seem to be holding up well. They listened carefully as Brendan Dassey testified yesterday. They also watched the confession; some took notes while I was in the courtroom. The day after the confession played, it seemed many of them couldn’t even look at Brendan, though. Some of the women just stared at him, skeptically. Some of the men did not look at him.
The jury is staying at a local hotel in Manitowoc. I’ve stopped by the bar there after work a couple of times to meet reporters who are also staying there . The jury always has a great spread set out for them. Last night, I walked by and there was some awesome Strawberry Shortcake on the dessert tray.
They arrive every morning looking fairly chipper. Tomorrow, they should have the case by late afternoon or early evening.
Does anyone want to guess how long they’ll deliberate? Apr 25, 2007 10:30 am Sexual Assault Charge: Amended
This morning, Special Prosecutor Ken Kratz asked the court to amend the criminal complaint and change the first degree sexual assault charge as a party to a crime to second degree sexual assault as a party to a crime.
Judge Fox granted the motion. Then, Mark Fremgen asked to have that charge dismissed, citing a lack of physical evidence. Fremgen said there is no physical evidence to support the charge. In fact, he said the only evidence to support it is the confession, and according to the law, some evidence must be offered aside from the confession.
Special Prosecutor Norm Gahn said there isn’t a lot of physical evidence because Steven and Brendan burned Teresa’s body. However, he said the discovery of handcuffs and leg irons in Steve’s bedroom, along with Teresa’s DNA on the bullet found in Steve’s garage is sufficient evidence to corroborate the confession. Gahn also noted how the furniture in Avery’s bedroom had been rearranged, which Brendan said in his confession, and Jodi Stachowski, Avery’s girlfriend testified too, which supports the claim that the bedroom was cleaned thoroughly to destroy evidence.
Judge Fox said there’s enough evidence to have the jury consider the charge. Motion to dismiss, denied. Apr 25, 2007 5:10 pm More of Your Emails
Thanks for writing in again, everyone! And, as I’ve said, keep ‘em comin’! I want to know what you’re thinking.
Dug that hole a mile deep. That's why I find it quite interesting why a defense attorney would let his client go up on the stand, put a noose around his neck and hang himself. My past experiences were a defendant NEVER makes a good witness. The phone call to his mother seems to me to be the deal sealer.
Tim, De Pere
I think every word he confessed to is true. Steven Avery is the one that should pay dearly for this kid, I think he made a wrong choice but Steven is the real problem. Too bad Wisconsin doesn't have the death penalty.
How long do you think the jury will deliberate?
I say once the jury gets the instructions, they will be out no more than 4 hours before they return their verdict. I can't help but feel that when Brendan took the stand Monday that he lost all possible hope for any "sympathy" from the jury to possibly convict on a lesser charge.
Tammi, Green Bay
I think the jury will be out about 10 minutes...
I think the Jury will deliberate and reach a verdict in less than 2 hours. The evidence is clear. The decision should be easy.
MN DePere, WI
Tom Fallon’s Closing Argument
I caught most of it....compelling to say the least ? Is it just me or has Brendan "perked" up a little bit since his testimony Monday ? I sure hope this kid doesn't think that he is going home after all this....breaks my heart for both families.
Tammi Angenette, Apr 25, 2007 7:28 pm We’re on Verdict Watch
I’ve received some emails asking about what’s going on out here in Manitowoc County.
We’re all sitting in the parking lot of the courthouse or hanging out in the parking lot. It’s really, really cold out here!
The jury got the case around 4:30 p.m. after some pretty impressive closing arguments from the State and the defense.
The Dane County jury now consists of 13 people – 12 jurors and 1 alternate composed of four men and two women. Two women were relieved of their duties today.
They just got dinner. It’s Italian consisting of pizza and other stuff. It smelled delicious!
It could be a long night, or a short one. We’re in hurry up and wait mode. When we were in Madison for jury selection, the deputies at the Dane County Courthouse said that a jury their deliberated until 6:00 a.m. several weeks ago, and returned a verdict then.
We could be in a for a short wait, or a long night.
I’ll do my best to keep you updated. Apr 25, 2007 7:35 pm Two Mothers – Polar Opposites
Karen Halbach -- Teresa’s Mom
Everyday for the last 18 months or so, I can imagine that Karen Halbach has awakened to milk her cows and see her two teenage daughters off to school. As she walks toward her barn, does she look across that farm field and see the home that used to be occupied by Teresa? I wonder what it must be like for her, to open her eyes every morning. Is Teresa the first thing that comes to mind? Is she the last thing she thinks about before going to sleep?
I know that my mom always says there’s probably nothing worse that a parent can go through, than to lose his or her child. Losing a child is a totally unnatural experience. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children; they’re supposed to watch them grow up, have their own children -- or not -- and grow to middle age, and in some instances, old age. But, Karen Halbach was robbed of that by Steven Avery -- and now, Brendan Dassey.
I’ve heard over and over again that the Halbachs have a deep faith that has guided them through the last 18 months. Mike Halbach has often said that he gets his strength from his mother. I don’t know whether it’s faith or life experience or a combination of both, but I know that I don’t understand how this family has kept it together.
Imagine for months, turning on the news and listening to the man you believe to be the murderer of your daughter, granting interviews and suggesting that your daughter might still be alive. Imagine Karen Halbach, listening to Steven Avery talk about how cops might have planted his blood to frame them for her daughter’s murder. To listen to him say, “she was here for 5 minutes, and left” even after his nephew gives a three-hour recorded confession.
I feel for Karen Halbach and the rest of the Halbach family. My younger sister is Teresa’s age, and let me tell you, if that had been my sister, I would have lost it a long time ago. The first time Steven Avery walked into the courtroom smirking my way, I might have lost it. But then in a way he wins. I might be in a straight jacket by now, if something like that happened to my sister. But, then again, you never know how you’ll handle a situation, until you’re in it.
I don’t know whether the phrase “grace under pressure” adequately describes Karen Halbach -- it seems like it’s not good enough. We could all learn a thing or two from Karen Halbach and her family. They’ve got more class in their little finger than some people could ever hope to have.
I met Barb Tadych on the evening of March 1, 2006. It was the night that her son, Brendan Dassey, confessed to helping rape and murder Teresa Halbach and then burn her body.
I stumbled upon Barb and she agreed to talk with me. Standing outside, she looked absolutely stunned. She told me about her baby, Brendan and how her brother threatened him to go through with it. I stood outside in the cold, it was misting a bit, and listened to her as she poured out her heart to me. She told me about how badly she felt for the Halbach family. She didn’t understand how someone could “take an innocent life.”
Barb told me that Brendan had a learning disability and that “he does as he’s told.” I had no idea at this point that Brendan had confessed to the things he did -- I thought that he had confessed to helping burn Teresa’s body, nothing more.
I’ll never forget what it was like to look into her eyes as she realized what her brother had dragged her son into that Halloween day. She said that she was “numb.” She looked into the camera and spoke to her brother and said, “Steven, I know you’re going to be watching this and I hate you for what you did to my son, so you can rot in hell, alright. And I’m gonna get you for it.”
That night, I would learn that Brendan Dassey had confessed to murder and implicated Steven Avery in the crime. I was stunned. I remember thinking, “a 16-year-old kid did this?” Of course it’s possible, but how could a kid do this?
As I’ve said before, only Brendan Dassey can answer the “why” question. And, if he did do it, and if it was simply because he “wanted to see what if felt like”as far as sex goes, then why did Steven Avery bring his young, impressionable nephew into this?
How could he do this not only to Teresa Halbach, but to his sister and his nephew? Only Avery can answer that question and right now he’s saying that he didn’t do it.
I’ve watched Barb over the last 13 months. This has worn on her terribly. She wants her son to come home and the truth of the matter is, he may never see the light of day again once that jury returns with a verdict.
It’s very, very sad. If Brendan Dassey did this then he must be punished, he must be held accountable. But, Barb didn’t do anything and it’s hard to watch a mother who may lose her child -- albeit in a much different way than the Halbachs.
In talking to Barb I can tell that she’s tried to be a good mother and that she loves her children. We all have to play with the hand we’re dealt, and sometimes it just seems like Barb got a really bad hand.
It’s also terribly sad that most of the time Barb comes to court by herself. Brendan’s dad Peter has been here in the mornings, but he has to work in the afternoon. When Steve was on trial, many of the Avery family members showed up for court everyday. It’s sad to see that Brendan’s grandparents, Dolores and Allan, and his uncles choose to stay home for his court appearances. Why all the support for Steve and none for Brendan?
It must be awful to feel like no one’s behind you, or your son. She also trusted her brother with her son, and now look what’s happened, if what Brendan said is true.
P.S. -- Karen Halbach and Barb Tadych share the same birthday. Angenette Apr 30, 2007 3:34 pm
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