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'Making a Murderer' Detective Files Defamation Lawsuit

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 24, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Making a Murderer," the Netflix documentary, has been a twisted tale from the beginning.

It follows the convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey in the murder of a Wisconsin woman in 2005. Dassey, a 16-year-old with "intellectual deficits" at the time, said his uncle pulled him into the gruesome crime.

Now the true-crime story has taken another turn. A detective in the case is suing Netflix for defamation.

Planted Evidence

Retired Lt. Andrew Colborn alleges the series makes it look like he and other officers planted evidence to incriminate Avery, who is serving a life sentence. Dassey, who confessed to helping his uncle rape, kill and dismember Teresa Halbach, is also serving a life sentence.

"Despite overwhelming evidence proving Avery and Dassey's guilt and the utter absence of evidence supporting defendant's accusations of police misconduct, defendants falsely led viewers to the inescapable conclusion that plaintiff and others planted evidence to frame Avery for Halbach's murder," the lawsuit says.

Colborn seeks damages for defamation, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He also wants a retraction and "honest clarification of the erroneous and false statements and depictions."

It is the latest development in a tangled case that went up and down the court system and a documentary that took on a life of its own.

Second Season

The show is back for second season, this time with a new defense attorney. She is pulling out all the stops to overturn Avery's conviction, and even purchased a duplicate of the victim's car for expert examination.

But the strangest twist -- besides the twisted murder itself -- involves Dassey's former lawyer. Len Kachinsky was recently acquitted of felony stalking charges.

After the trial, he became a municipal judge and allegedly harassed his clerk. Among other things, he was accused of meowing like a cat at her.

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