Only hours after Steven Avery’s ex-fiancee, Jodi Stachowski, was featured on HLN’s “Nancy Grace” adamantly proclaiming the Wisconsin man’s guilt, Dr. Phil McGraw announced that he had interviewed a second ex-fiancee, Sandra Greenman, who was convinced that of the man’s innocence. Avery, the subject of the hit Netflix documentary mini-series “Making A Murderer,” has become the center of a hot national debate, not only concerning his innocence in the death of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach but also of the the judicial system, the legal process, and the investigation that sent him to prison for life.
Us Weekly reported January 14 that Sandra Greenman, who no longer is in a relationship with convicted murderer Steven Avery but who began dating him shortly after his conviction in 2005, sat down for an interview on “Dr. Phil” (aired on January 18) to say that she believed Avery was innocent of killing Teresa Halbach. When Dr. Phil McGraw asked why she was still in touch with Avery, Greenman, now 73 years old, said she wanted Avery to know she still supported him.
“I personally believe that he’s innocent,” she told Dr. Phil via phone. “I needed to show him that I was behind him.”
That sentiment is in direct opposition to another ex-fiancee, Jodi Stachowski, who told “Nancy Grace” produce Natasha Lance (in a segment aired January 13) that Avery was a “monster,” abused her on a regular basis during their two-year relationship, threatened to kill her if she didn’t cooperate in the filming of “Making A Murderer,” and was “not innocent.” Stachoweski, who originally claimed support for Avery (as seen in “Making A Murderer”), said that she had stopped cooperating with the Netflix filmmakers and had told them she didn’t want anything to do with “Making A Murderer,” nor did she want to be in the mini-series, stating that it was “all lies.”
Steven Avery himself has used his newfound fame from the popular Netflix show to further muddy the legal waters, even going so far as to claim (per TMZ) that his brothers may have framed him for Teresa Halbach’s murder. He also filed court documents Monday to have his murder conviction overturned. According to WBAY in Green Bay, the now 53-year-old claimed that his property had been searched illegally, that one juror intimidated other jurors during his trial, and that Wisconsin attorney Thomas Aquino allegedly made untruthful statements and that those allegations were never thoroughly investigated.
Sandra Greenman remained in a relationship with Avery even during his incarceration. The two were engaged at one point but his refusal to become a Christian eventually prompted her to end the relationship.
Still, she supports him. And since the 10-part Netflix documentary “Making A Murderer” has presented Steven Avery’s case as a miscarriage of justice, so do a growing number of people. The groundswell of support for a pardon has generated petitions on Change.org and the White House site, “We The People.” As to the latter, ABC News has noted the White House responded, saying that President Barack Obama could not interfere in the Steven Avery case due to it not being adjudicated in a federal court. (Note: NBC News has reported that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who has never issued a pardon as governor, has made it clear that he supports the unanimous decision of the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, which upheld Avery’s murder conviction in 2011.)
Avery was convicted of murdering freelance photographer Teresa Halbach in 2007 and sentenced to life in prison. The charred remains of her body, mostly bones and teeth, were found by authorities in a burn pit on his auto salvage yard property in 2005. Her SUV was found by her cousin hidden on the same property prior to the discovery of her remains, prompting law enforcement to focus on Avery as a suspect. Halbach had agreed to do a photo shoot of Avery’s property for Auto Trader magazine. She disappeared the day of the scheduled appointment.