Delivery Driver Saw Steven Avery's Nephew Move Teresa Halbach's Car into Salvage Yard, New Court Filing Claims
A newspaper delivery driver says he saw Bobby Dassey and an unidentified older man "suspiciously pushing" a Toyota RAV-4 days after Teresa Halbach's disappearance, according to the court filing
In a new court motion submitted Monday obtained by PEOPLE, Kathleen Zellner and Steven Richards claim that a newspaper delivery driver named Thomas Sowinski saw Bobby and an unidentified older man "suspiciously pushing" a blue Toyota RAV-4 toward the family's salvage yard in the early morning of Nov. 5, 2005 — days after the Halbach's disappearance.
"After Mr. Sowinski drove by Bobby and the other individual and delivered the papers to the Avery mailbox, he turned around and drove back to the exit," the filing reads. "When he reached the RAV-4, Bobby attempted to step in front of his car to block him from leaving the property."
Sowinski says in a signed affidavit attached to the motion "I was afraid for my safety" and that he had to swerve into a shallow ditch in order to drive around Bobby.
"Bobby Dassey looked me in the eye, and I could tell he was not happy to see me there. I knew that Bobby Dassey and the older individual were doing something creepy," Sowinski say in the document.
After authorities found the RAV-4 on the same day and identified it as Halbach's vehicle, Sowinski "realized the significance of what he observed and immediately contacted the Manitowoc Sheriff's Office" to report what he saw, according to the filing.
Sowinski said in his affidavit that an officer told him, "We already know who did it," and investigators never contacted him about the case after he left his name and phone number with authorities.
According to Avery's attorneys, Sowinski's testimony is critical to the case as Bobby served as a "primary witness" against Avery in his trial.
"The suppressed evidence from Mr. Sowinski was favorable to the defense and the material to pivotal issue in the trial because it would have (1) destroyed entirely the creditability of Bobby as the State's primary witness; (2) established that Bobby was directly involved in the murder of Ms. Halbach; and (3) established that Bobby planted evidence to frame his uncle, Mr. Avery," the filing reads.
"In the absence of the suppressed evidence presented in Mr. Sowinski's affidavit, Mr. Avery did not receive a fair trial," according to the document.
Avery's attorneys are asking the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District II to stay the appeal and that the case be sent back to the circuit court so their client can "pursue a supplemental postconviction motion in connection to Mr. Avery's discovery of previous suppressed evidence by the State."
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Zellner joined Avery's legal team after part 1 of Making a Murderer premiered and became a key character in the second part of the docuseries, which was released in 2018.
"I have one goal," she said in the docuseries, "and that's to overturn the conviction of Steven Avery."
In Sept. 2019, Zellner and her team posted a $100,000 reward for information leading to the "arrest and conviction of the real killer of Teresa Halbach," it said.