Skip to comments.Innocence Project Pulls Photo of Avery from Web Site (Freed by DNA, Now On Trial for Murder)
Posted on 03/03/2006 2:21:37 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
MADISON, WI (AP) -- The Wisconsin Innocence Project pulled a photo from its Web site on Friday of a man the group helped free from prison - one day after gruesome details emerged about his alleged rape and murder of a young photographer.
The group's action to distance itself from one of its best known cases came after prosecutors alleged in graphic detail that Steven Avery and his 16-year-old nephew raped and murdered 25-year-old Teresa Halbach on Halloween.
Prosecutors said Avery lured Halbach, a freelance photographer for Auto Trader Magazine, to his property near Mishicot to take a picture of a minivan for sale. Avery and the boy took turns sexually assaulting her as she was shackled to a bed and begged for help. She was later stabbed, had her throat slit, dragged to a garage, shot and burned.
The new details arose after authorities interviewed the nephew this week.
Until Avery's arrest in the murder case last November, he had been the innocence project's most high-profile success story. The group in 2003 helped uncover DNA evidence that proved Avery did not commit a 1985 rape for which he had spent almost half his life behind bars.
"We had left references to Avery on the Web site because we thought it was a historic account and it was an honorable thing to not try to disguise what happened in that case," said Keith Findley, co-director of the project at University of Wisconsin-Madison law school. "But because of these recent allegations and the emotional response, we have taken those photos down."
Until Friday, Avery was pictured on the innocence project's Web site as one of four major wrongful convictions uncovered by the group - even though he had been charged with the murder of Halbach in November.
Findley said he was "horrified and saddened by these allegations" and removed the photos out of sensitivity to the Halbach family. But he said he had no regrets about helping free Avery in the earlier case.
Avery, 43, became a symbol of the flawed criminal justice system after he was freed from prison in 2003. He appeared at news conferences with state lawmakers and Gov. Jim Doyle to push for criminal justice reforms that were ultimately signed into law.
A jury convicted Avery in 1985 of sexual assault, attempted murder and false imprisonment in Manitowoc County for a violent rape on a Lake Michigan beach, based largely on eye witness testimony of the victim.
The DNA evidence uncovered later exonerated Avery and pointed to another man who was serving a 60-year sentence for sexual assaults in other cases.
"Whatever may or may not be happening now doesn't change the fact that he did not commit that crime in 1985. It's absolutely undisputed," Findley said. "There are many things that went wrong in that case and we better learn from them so we can better apprehend and convict the guilty."
Prayers for the Halbach family. It's bad enough to have lost her, but to have to hear the gruesome details must be horrific.
Too bad our Governor has vetoed CC twice in the past four years. Teresa didn't have a fighting chance against these monsters.
I am just sickened while reading this. Are we 100% sure he did not commit the rape? I really, really have my doubts. And I hope the 16 year old also gets the book thrown at him. Gosh, I wish you guys had the death penalty.
I know that scum bag got some money he is using for his defense. If that doesn't tell everyone all they need to know about how bad our justice system is screwed up, I don't know what would convince them.
May she rest in peace and may her family find peace.
Ah liberals. They can always be counted on to do unbelievable harm to the world, yet their INTENTIONS were good, so they take no personal responsibility for the horrors they commit.
"The Innocence Project" obviously used bogus evidence to spring yet another psychopath/murderer.
The Innocence Project is still bragging all over the Internet about its "success" with Avery.
I'm sure as hell not convinced. This isn't the first case where the so-called Innnocence Project freed somebody who went out and raped someone else.
New victim. New case.
Avery was convicted of a 1985 rape, then exonerated by DNA evidence.
Upon his release, he then committed another rape (and murder) in 2005. And he has confessed to the second crime.
no, the point was that the "Innocence Project" got him out of prison and while out, he committed this horrible crime.
The Milwaukee Journal ran the following photo of Avery, his parents and nephew at their cabin several days after Halbach was killed in their home on their shared property. Chilling.
Or maybe being locked up all those years on bogus charges made him crazy. But we all know that's just a silly theory because prisons don't send people out worse than they went in....right? Right?
Do you seriously believe that Avery was REALLY innocent of the original offences that "The Innocence Project" got this monster sprung on?
That's what the court decided using DNA evidence. It's hard to argue against science.
Her family should sue them, big time. Who cares if it has standing or not, they live by the sword of litigation, let them die by the same.
"Now, he's being tried again for those crimes? I was under the impression that you couldn't prosecute someone for the same crime twice. I mean if they get him back in prison, I'll be a happy camper, but I didn't know they were allowed to do that."
No, he committed other crimes as soon as he was sprung. He had a long list of felony convictions, but the bogus rape is what sent him to prison, finally, based on his priors.
He raped (but didn't kill) another woman soon after The Innocence Project freed him. She is not pressing charges because she doesn't want to live through it again, and he's going away forever now, as it is. Can't say that I blame her.
He's now being tried for the murder of Teresa Helbach, a photographer that happened to cross his path. His nephew is also involved.
There is lots of bogus DNA "science" and lots of crooked lawyers. Ask OJ for starters.
You remember all the fraud out of the FBI crime lab a few years back?
Consider the possibility that that can cut both ways. It may be hard to argue against "science", but "science" can be manipulated to fool the credulous.
I think it's more than likely that an error or a little fudging took place in the "innocence project" DNA analysis.
Wow. What a chilling photo, now that we know what happened to Teresa. Psychopaths can look so darn normal, can't they?
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