Steven Avery is featured in the Emmy-winning Making a Murderer documentary series.
Judge Sutkiewicz writes, "The report of [Calumet County Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Hawkins] indicates that he, Sergeant Investigator Mark Wiegert, [DoJ] Attorney Thoman Fallon and [DoJ] Attorney Norman Gahn removed materials stored in evidence, and released them to the [murder victim Teresa] Halbach family," (p 2).
The state appellate case is State v. Steven A. Avery, 2017AP002288.
This is an important admission from Sutkiewicz because the Wisconsin Dept of Justice's Fallon and Gahn have been gas-lighting the Teresa Halbach family, Avery and his attorneys and indeed the entire state of Wisconsin.
Fallon, Gahn and Wisconsin Attorney General Joshua Kaul (D) claim they do not know if the biological remains that Fallon, Gahn and the Calumet County Sheriff Dept secretly and illegally released to the Teresa Halbach family in 2011 are in fact the remains of Teresa Halbach.
You read that right. It is the official position of the State of Wisconsin that the State misled a murder victim's family into believing the State had returned to this family the bodily remains of someone whom they now claim may not be Teresa Halbach.
Avery's attorney — Kathleen Zellner, Steven Richards and Douglas Johnson — are expected to file a brief with the presiding appellate court within weeks.
The Wisconsin statute 968.205 - Preservation of certain evidence is clear. Among other duties assumed by law enforcement when destroying evidence in its custody, the State must send "a notice of its intent to destroy the evidence to all persons who remain in custody as a result of the criminal conviction, delinquency adjudication, or commitment, and to either the attorney of record for each person in custody or the state public defender."
This statute is not a suggestion of best practices.
The State of course sent no such notice. See Avery legal filings.
The law was specifically changed in 2005 with the legislative intent to allow law enforcement to destroy evidence after meeting all the prescribed conditions necessary for the State to commit this act.
Reads the Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau of ASSEMBLY BILL 648, [LRB−3492/1RLR:wlj&lmk:rs 2005 − 2006 LEGISLATURE];
However, if a law enforcement agency, DA, court,or crime laboratory informs every person in custody in connection with a piece of evidence of its intent to destroy the evidence and none of the people either requests preservation of the evidence or files a motion for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing of the biological material contained in or included on the evidence, the law enforcement agency, DA, court, or crime laboratory may destroy the evidence.
This bill provides that a law enforcement agency, DA, court, or crime laboratory must retain evidence that includes biological material and was collected in connection with a criminal investigation that resulted in a conviction, delinquency adjudication, or commitment order only if the biological material is either from the victim of the offense for which the conviction, adjudication, or commitment order was imposed or the biological material may reasonably be used to incriminate or exculpate any person for the offense. Also, a law enforcement agency, DA, court, or crime laboratory need retain the evidence only in an amount and manner sufficient to develop a DNA profile from the evidence. [Emphasis added]
The State now wants to substitute scientific certainty as the new definition that determines the incriminating or exculpatory value of DNA evidence and replace the "may reasonably be used" language that resides in the law and legislative intent.
Instead of "biological material [that] may reasonably be used to incriminate or exculpate," as is the legislative intent and plain language of the statute, Judge Sutkiewicz references the testimony of one scientist from trial to support the State's position.
Surly, it is reasonable to infer that giving a murder victim's family bodily remains purported to be a murder victim's may reasonably be determined to possess exculpatory value, in accordance with Wisconsin statute 968.205 - Preservation of certain evidence.
As attorney Zellner notes in her Feb. 1 legal filing:
The [State] ... conveys an attitude of impunity for its past actions of withholding exculpatory evidence and its current action of continuing the concealment of its destruction of potentially exculpatory or useful evidence. ...What we in Wisconsin need to determine as well is the intent of Calumet County Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Hawkins, Sheriff Mark Wiegert, and DoJ attorneys Thoman Fallon and Norman Gahn through a criminal investigation.
The State wants this Court to overlook the undisputed fact that 2 weeks ago, on December 28, 2018, when it filed its response to Mr. Avery's request for new DNA testing of the bones from the Manitowoc Gravel Pit, it never once admitted or disclosed that it had given the bones back to the Halbach family in 2011 without notice to Mr. Avery or his counsel. (Plaintiff-Respondent's Response in Opposition to the Petition to Stay the Appeal and Remand this Case to the circuit court, December 28, 2018, pp. 1-8). Instead, the State carried on its charade of concealment by claiming that Mr. Avery could voluntarily dismiss his pending appeal (pp. 1,2)
You better believe this gang is culpable in the crimes of 946.65 Obstructing justice and 946.12 Misconduct in public office, for starters.
And a federal probe would certainly help.
These people broke multiple laws in their plot to frame an innocent man, and then destroy evidence to conceal their crimes.