The mother of Steven Avery, who featured in the Netflix documentary ‘Making a Murderer’, died Thursday morning – just one day before Avery’s 59th birthday.
Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, confirmed the death of Dolores Avery, age 83, in a tweet Thursday afternoon.
‘Fate dealt another cruel blow to Steven Avery today, right before his birthday tomorrow; his mother Dolores Avery passed away at 6.50am,’ she wrote. ‘He needs your support now more than ever.’
Avery is jailed at Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin where he is serving a life sentence for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005.
He has maintained his innocence, and his case was featured in the Netflix docuseries, ‘Making a Murder,’ which cast doubt on his conviction.
Dolores was featured prominently in the show, according to the Post Crescent, and always maintained that her son was innocent.
Dolores Avery, right, died of dementia Thursday morning at the age of 86. She is the mother of Steven Avery, who is serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of a photographer
A photo of Allan, Dolores and Steven Avery along with friend Sandy Greenman, taken during a visit at the correctional institution in 2018
Dolores has maintained that her son is innocent in the murder, and has been featured prominently on the Netflix show ‘Making a Murderer,’ which examines Steven’s case
She reportedly had dementia, and had ben in hospice for three weeks before her death, according to TMZ.
In a statement to the entertainment news source, Steven said: ‘Losing my parents before I got out has always been my worst nightmare. Now it has happened.
‘I worry my Dad will not live to see me as a free man,’ he said, adding: ‘Today I lost the person I most wanted to take care of and give a better life when I am freed. I cannot put in words the pain of losing my mom.’
Steven and his nephew, Brendon Dassey, were convicted in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005, after cops said they found her remains in a fire pit on the Averys’ property.
He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2007, while Dassey was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 41 years.
Steven Avery and Brendon Dassey were convicted in the 2005 killing in 2007. Steven, left, was sentenced to life in prison without parole while Dassey was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 41 years
Bobby Dassey pointed at Steven Avery in the courtroom in 2007 to begin his testimony. Now, Avery’s attorney claims a new witness saw Bobby push Teresa Halbach’s Toyota RAV 4 the day she was found dead
Halbach’s vehicle was found partially concealed in the Averys’ salvage yard and police said they found her remains in a fire pit on the Averys’ property
The story was featured in the first season of ‘Making a Murderer,’ which premiered on Netflix in 2015, and cast doubt on the motives of police investigating Halbach’s death, leaving many viewers with the impression that Steven and his nephew were wrongfully convicted.
The show focused on accusations of police coercion and attorney ineptitude, which critics say led to Steven’s conviction.
After it aired, more than 500,000 people signed a White House petition asking the president to pardon Avery, but the White House responded that ‘the president cannot pardon a state criminal offense.’
Avery said he had hoped to take care of his mother when he was free
He is now awaiting a decision in his case from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Avery’s story was featured on Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer,’ which premiered in 2015 and cast doubt on the motives of the police officers investigating Halbach’s death
Zellner took on his case in 2016, arguing he had his rights violated and detectives had gathered evidence that went beyond their search warrant, TMZ reports.
In April, she filed court documents claiming that a new witness, a delivery driver named Thomas Sowinski, saw a ‘shirtless Bobby Dassey,’ Brendon’s brother, and an ‘unidentified older male’ pushing a Toyota RAV 4 ‘toward the junkyard’ in the early morning hours of November 5, 2005.
Authorities have said that Halbach’s vehicle, a Toyota RAV 4, was found later in the day at the Avery Salvage Yard.
When he heard, court documents say, Sowinski said he recognized the significance of what he had seen, but said a female police officer told him: ‘We already know who did it.’
Avery had previously been wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder. He is now awaiting a decision in his case from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.