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'Making a Murderer' Attorney Points Finger At Teresa Halbach's Ex Ryan Hillegas

Kathleen Zellner, the attorney for 'Making a Murderer's Steven Avery, is pointing the finger at Teresa Halbach's ex-boyfriend in a 1,000-page motion for a new trial.

Avery, who spent 18 years in prison for a wrongful conviction, has maintained he didn't have anything to do with the 2005 murder of Halbach, a freelance photographer who went missing after driving to the family's auto salvage yard.

He had a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County when he was arrested and convicted for the murder. Avery has repeatedly insisted he was framed by the Sherriff's department.

Zellner's filing alleges Halbach's ex, Ryan Hillegas, killed her in a fit of jealous rage because "she was no longer romantically interested in him."

Viewers of the Netflix documentary will recall Hillegas led a group of volunteers in a search for the 25-year-old photographer. Zellner says Hillegas and Halbach had "a verbally and physically abusive relationship" and that he "had no alibi" for October 31, 2005, the day she was killed.

She also cites that she found "significant gaps" in Hillegas' cell phone records the day Halbach went missing.

"Mr. Hillegas' phone records have an over 17 hour gap from 7:47 p.m. on October 31, 2005, to 1:31 p.m. on November 1, 2005, during the time where Ms. Halbach's body was transported and burned," she says in the filing.

Zellner adds Hillegas "volunteered false information" to police and "intentionally diverted investigators."

She doesn't miss the fact, that many viewers also noticed, that Ryan appeared to have "sustained visible injuries to his hands, from fingernail scratches" that were visible in interviews done during the search attempt.

Additionally, Zellner believes Hillegas was the one who deleted Halbach's voicemail to possibly delete incriminating messages as well as keep her mailbox from getting full -- to delay a response from police until he could dispose of the body in Avery's salvage yard.

"Ms. Halbach's voicemail messages had been deleted by the killer to keep her voice mailbox open and delay her family and friend's realization that she was missing."

"He returned to the Avery property with Sgt. Colborn on the evening on November 4, 2005, under the pretense of helping Sgt. Colborn search for Ms. Halbach's vehicle." she alleges.

She says since the fact that Halbach's charred remains were not only found in a fire pit behind Avery's mobile home but also at a second location off the Avery property, it fits with the theory they were moved.

Zellner also alleges police misconduct, ethical questions and evidence tampering as reasons Avery deserves a new trial.

June 9, 2017 |

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