Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Avery's Lawyer Files Complaint Alleging Crime Lab Misconduct

Complaint Cites Documents Indicating Drunkenness, Filing False Reports

September 10, 2008 Milwaukee, WI

A lawyer for Steven Avery filed a complaint Tuesday afternoon alleging improper behavior and negligence at the state’s crime lab.

Jerome Buting, Avery’s lawyer, said he has new evidence that he claims shows serious problems at the lab including while it was testing evidence from the Avery case.

Buting's complaint cites internal documents that show an analyst disciplined for drunkenness on the job, another for failing to test samples and then filing false reports.

Buting is calling for an investigation by an outside, independent organization. The Attorney General’s office oversees the crime lab and issued a statement on the matter.

“This administration was not here when the events described by Avery’s defense lawyer occurred and we do not have personal knowledge of what transpired,” the statement reads. “We will conduct a review of facts underlying Buting’s allegations to determine whether any of his speculation has a basis that merits additional follow up.”

DNA was key to Steven Avery's exoneration for a rape he served nearly 18 years in jail for. It was also key to his conviction for Teresa Halbach’s murder. Crime lab experts testified they found Avery's blood in Halbach's SUV. At trial, Avery's lawyers pointed out errors in the crime lab analysis but the jury believed the experts.

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