Steven Avery's Lawyer Zellner Offers $10,000 in 'Proof of Guilt' Challenge

Illinois-based attorney issues 100-question challenge open to public, including members of Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department

Steven Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner issues 100-question challenge open to public, including members of Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department. Credit: AP (2)

Steven Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner is so confident that her client is innocent that she's willing to put her money where her mouth is.

The Illinois-based attorney featured in Netflix's Making a Murderer revealed to Joliet Patch earlier this week that she is offering a $10,000 cash prize to anyone who is able to prove Avery's guilt via a 100-question test she's calling "The Steven Avery Proof of Guilt Challenge."

"We are so convinced that you will fail at answering the following 100 questions that we will offer an award of $10,000 to anyone who fully answers all 100 questions based upon credible evidence that establishes Mr. Avery's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt," Zellner told the site.

According to the lawyer, the challenge arose after she and her firm "heard and read numerous claims that Steven Avery is guilty of the murder of Teresa Halbach."

"Without exception, the authors of these claims simply do not know the facts of the case nor do they address the most blatant discrepancies in the State’s case against Mr. Avery," Zellner continued. "The Proof of Guilt Challenge is specifically designed to elicit from these commentators credible evidentiary support for their opinion that Mr. Avery is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Zellner's unorthodox test includes questions about Halbach's day planner, the missing CD recording of Halbach's call to the Zipperers' answering machine and the missing bones in the Avery burn pit.

Several questions require deep investigative work and close knowledge of the case. For example: "Provide an explanation (other than divine intervention) of how Ms. (Pamela) Sturm and her daughter could have located Ms. Halbach's vehicle within 20 minutes among the 4,000 vehicles on 26.9 acres of the Avery salvage yard if they had not been told where the car was located prior to their search?" The challenge is open to anyone, including past or present members of the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department.

"If Jim Lenk wants to make an easy ten grand, just answer these questions," Zellner told the site, referring to the retired detective who was also featured prominently on Making a Murderer, which came out in 2015. Lenk and and his mentee, Lt. Detective Andy Colborn, have long been suspected of planting several clues at the scene of the crime to convict Avery of Halbach's murder.

Any interested participants can see the full list of questions here, and are being asked to submit their answers via email to attorneys@zellnerlawoffices.com.

In June, Zellner filed a 1,272-page motion turning the narrative on its head by accusing Halbach's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Hillegas, of murdering the photographer.