Steven Avery, whose criminal case was made famous by the Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer, has tested positive for COVID-19 while serving a life sentence in Wisconsin.
Avery's former trial lawyer broke the news in a tweet on Wednesday, and it was later confirmed by his current attorney who has been working on his appeal.
Jerome Buting, one of the attorneys who represented Avery during his 2006 murder trial, tweeted that his former client is confined to his cell.
Making a Murder's Steven Avery (pictured in 2006) has tested positive for COVID-19
Avery's former trial lawyer Jerome Buting broke the news on Twitter Wednesday
Avery's current attorney, Kathleen Zellner, confirmed his diagnosis today
Avery is serving his life term at Waupun Correctional Institution, where as of last week 213 people had tested positive for COVID-19
But he added that according to Avery's fiancee, Sandy Greenman, the inmate 'only had short-lived symptoms & is in good spirits. [prayer emoji] for speedy recovery and quick justice. #FreeStevenAvery.'
Avery, 57, was found guilty along with nephew, Brendan Dassey, 30, of raping and murdering photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.
Making a Murderer, which premiered on Netflix in 2015, followed by a second season that was released last October, suggested that local authorities in Wisconsin framed Avery for murder and coerced his then-16-year-old nephew into making a confession.
Both men were sentenced to life in prison. Records indicate that Avery is serving his term at Waupun Correctional Institution, where as of last week 213 people had tested positive for COVID-19.
Avery, 57 (left), was found guilty along with nephew, Brendan Dassey, 30 (right), of raping and murdering photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005
Halbach was a freelance photographer whose remains was found on the Avery family's property in Wisconsin in 2005
Kathleen Zellner, an attorney that specializes in wrongful conviction who took on Avery's case after his conviction, confirmed her client's diagnosis this afternoon on Twitter.
'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 has made multiple attempts to appeal his conviction, but in August of last year a judge rejected his request for a new trial.
In October, Zellner filed a motion asking the Court of Appeals to take Avery case.
A week ago, the State of Wisconsin filed a 130-page response saying the circuit court correctly denied Avery’s motion and asking the Court of Appeals to deny his request for a hearing.
Avery and Dassey's case was the subject of the 2015 Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer. Part 2 of the show was released in October 2019
Avery had spent 18 years in prison for a different rape before DNA testing exonerated him.
After his release, he filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over his conviction, but he was arrested in 2005 and later convicted of Halbach's murder as that lawsuit was still pending. Avery maintains he is innocent.
Last December, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers rejected his nephew Dassey's plea for a pardon after the US Supreme Court refused to hear his latest appeal.