'Making a Murderer': Steven Avery Thought Brothers Framed Him

2009 court document reveals Avery provided possible motives for members of his family to murder Teresa Halbach

'Making a Murderer' subject Steven Avery believed his brothers or other family members possibly framed him for murder, court documents show Credit: Kirk Wagner/AP

While the Manitowoc County police department and their investigation techniques are at the forefront of the Netflix series Making a Murderer, Steven Avery, the man convicted of murdering Teresa Halbach in 2005, discussed other suspects who may have committed the crime. In a 59-page court document filed in 2009 obtained by The Wrap, Avery alleged that his brothers Charles and Earl Avery, as well as nephew Bobby Dassey and brother-in-law Scott Tadych, all were capable of murdering Halbach and framing Steven Avery with the crime.

As far as possible motives, Avery claimed they ranged from Charles' desire to "frame Steven over money [following his wrongful imprisonment settlement], a share of the family business, and over Jodi Stachowski," Steven’s girlfriend at the time. Charles Avery also had a history of assaulting women who visited the Avery's salvage yard.

Earl Avery similarly had a criminal history, having been charged with sexually abusing his two daughters in 1995. He also eagerly assisted police in their investigation of Steven Avery.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Making a Murderer co-directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said that Avery's legal team wasn't allowed to broach the topic of other suspects during Avery's murder trial. "The defense said if it was given the opportunity, they'd like to argue it wasn't Steven Avery but it may have been this person or that person," Demos said. "And the judge said, basically, 'You haven't met your burden of proof and I'm not going to allow you to mention any of those people by name. But you can name Brendan [Dassey],'" Avery's nephew whose (possibly coerced) statement pegged Avery to Halbach's murder.