On Monday, April 12, Kathleen Zellner — featured on season two of the hit Netflix series — filed what’s known as a Brady motion with Manitowoc County court. In the docs obtained by In Touch, a witness named Thomas Sowinski claimed to have seen Bobby Dassey (the brother of Brendan Dassey), pushing a blue Rav-4 alongside an unidentified man. At the time, Sowinski, a former driver for Gannett, was delivering newspapers to the Avery property on the morning of November 5, 2005, the day Halbach’s car was found by authorities. Halbach was last seen on October 31, 2005.
In a signed affidavit, Sowinski says he witnessed Bobby Dassey and an older man “suspiciously pushing a dark blue RAV-4 down Avery Road towards the junkyard,” the motion read.
“The RAV-4 did not have its lights on. After Mr. Sowinski drove by Bobby and the other individual and delivered the papers to the Avery mailbox, he turned around and drove back toward the exit,” the filing continued. “When he reached the RAV-4, Bobby attempted to step in front of his car to block him from leaving the property. Mr. Sowinski was within five feet of Bobby, and his headlights were on Bobby during this entire time. Mr. Sowinski swerved into a shallow ditch to escape Bobby and exit the property.”
“After Mr. Sowinski learned that Teresa Halbach’s car was found later in the day on November 5, 2005, he realized the significance of what he had observed and immediately contacted the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Office and spoke to a female officer, reporting everything he has stated in his affidavit,” the motion read. “The officer said, ‘We already know who did it.'”
Zellner told the Milwaukee Patch newspaper that “this is an evidence bombshell in the Avery case,” she said. “We consider it the most significant witness evidence ever in the case, and it’s an objective, non-biased witness who notified police in 2005 and he was ignored. I think Steven Avery never would have been convicted had this evidence been known during his trial, and it destroys Bobby Dassey’s credibility and links him to the crime.”
Avery, 58, and his nephew Brendan Dassey, 31, are serving life sentences in prison for first-degree murder following the disappearance of Halbach in 2005. Though Avery was sentenced without the possibility of parole, Brendan is eligible in the year 2048. He has been serving his sentence since he was arrested as a minor at the age of 16.
In an exclusive interview with In Touch, Avery opened up about his life in prison for Teresa’s grisly murder — a crime he still swears he didn’t commit. “I’m going to be free,” he said in 2016. “I’m 1,000 percent confident that I’ll be free.”
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