State objects to request for new judge by Steven Avery of "Making A Murderer"

Steven Avery (WLUK file image)

MANITOWOC (WLUK) -- The state is objecting to Steven Avery’s request to replace the judge hearing his case.

Avery continues to appeal his conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. Since 2013, Sheboygan County Judge Angela Sutkiewicz has been assigned to review motions at the circuit court level.

Two weeks ago, Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, requested that Judge Sutkiewicz be removed from the case, and for a Manitowoc County judge to be appointed.

In a three-page response filed Tuesday, the state Department of Justice argues the request should be denied because he already exercised his right for a change in judges, and the current status of the case doesn’t allow for substitution on the grounds Zellner cited.

“Because the law is so clear, this motion lacks validity,” the state says.

No hearing on the issue has been scheduled yet.

Once it is determined which judge will hear the case, the next issue to be argued is Avery’s claims that he should get a new trial because the state withheld evidence from his trial attorneys.

Also convicted in the case was Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey. On Monday, the United States Supreme Court said it would not hear an appeal of his case, leaving his conviction stand.

Avery and Dassey's cases gained attention in 2015 after Netflix released "Making a Murderer," which examined Halbach's death and spawned conjecture about Avery and Dassey's innocence. Authorities who worked on the cases said the series was biased.

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