Steven Avery tests positive for COVID-19, but recovering, attorneys say
MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Steven Avery, whose slaying of a woman in 2005 was chronicled in Netflix’s controversial “Making a Murderer” docuseries, has tested positive for COVID-19 in prison, where he is serving a life sentence, according to attorneys.
The 57-year-old Avery’s previous attorney, Jerome Buting, announced the development Tuesday in a tweet in which he also said Avery “is confined to his cell. … But he only had short-lived symptoms & is in good spirits.”
Buting requested prayers “for speedy recovery and quick justice. #FreeStevenAvery.”
Avery’s present attorney, Kathleen Zellner, confirmed Buting’s tweet in her own Twitter post today. “It is true that Steven Avery has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus — he will fully recover,” she wrote. “The bigger threat to him is whether the COA (court of appeals) will cure the disease that caused him to be wrongfully convicted.”
Avery, of Manitowoc County, Wis., was convicted in 2007 of the 2005 murder of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach in his family’s junkyard and burning her body in a pit outside of his mobile home.
Sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Avery is an inmate at the Waupun Correctional Institution. Several courts have upheld the conviction, although he continues to appeal, insisting that he was wrongfully convicted.
Zellner’s mentioning of an appeals court case involves his request for a new trial.
Avery first rose to fame when DNA testing exonerated him of a 1985 conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder after he had served 18 years of a 32-year sentence.
His case led to Wisconsin’s Criminal Justice Reform Bill, enacted into law in 2005, which implemented reforms intended to prevent wrongful convictions.
The Associated Press and other news reports contributed to this story.
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