Steven Avery's ex-fiancee makes new claims, telling TMZ Avery once tied her to a bed with rope
Steven Avery's ex-fiancee, Jodi Stachowski, is making new claims against him -- including that he once put her into circumstances similar to the circumstances that led to the death of Teresa Halbach.
Jodi Stachowski speaks exclusively with HLN
TMZ says Stachowski has said she believes Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey's account of Halbach's rape and murder (Dassey told police he had sex with Halbach while she was restrained in Avery's bedroom) -- because Stachowski says Avery once tied her to a bed post with rope and tried to videotape it.
Stachowski told TMZ Avery wanted to have sex with her while she was restrained, but she was so adamantly against it that he eventually backed down.
Stachowski said Avery has a history of using fear as a weapon -- and she provided TMZ with a letter she got from Avery in August -- asking for money. The letter asks that Stachowski pay Avery "for all the money that I spent on you" -- or he will "put you in Taycheedah Correctional Institution." The letter says: "You are no good, and you say I am trouble -- but you are trouble. You are just a drunk on the road." In the letter, Avery says Stachowski won't be able to get drunk in Taycheedah.
CLICK HERE to read the letter. NOTE: The letter includes strong language that may not be appropriate for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
The new claims from Stachowski come after she appeared on HLN last week for an exclusive interview with Nancy Grace.
Stachowski told Grace she believes Avery killed Teresa Halbach. When asked why she feels that way, Stachowski said:
"Because he threatened to kill me and my family and a friend of mine. I was in a bath, and he threatened to throw a blow dryer in there and told me he'd be able to get away with it," Stachowski said.
In the docuseries, you'll see Avery and Stachowski holding hands -- and Stachowski defends Avery.
"It was all an act. I -- he told me how to act. You know, smile, be happy. I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to get hurt. Steven is one person I don't trust. He's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Stachowski said. "A nice person, semi-nice person and then behind closed doors…he's a monster. He told me once -- excuse my language -- 'all (expletive for females) owe him' because of the one that sent him to prison the first time. We all owed him -- and he could do whatever he wanted."
Netflix "Making A Murderer"
Steven Avery is the subject of "Making A Murderer" -- a 10-part Netflix docuseries released on December 18th.
The creators of the popular Netflix docuseries answered questions about the docuseries on Sunday, January 17th, at the "Television Critics Association" winter previews -- including questions about Stachowki's recent comments.
According to TVGuide.com, series' directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said they cannot speak to what Jodi Stachowski is saying now.
"When we filmed nine years ago, this is an accurate portrayal of what she was saying at the time," Ricciardi said, according to TV Guide.
Steven Avery released from prison in 2003
Avery was convicted in 1985 in the rape of jogger Penny Beerntsen on a beach near her home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After serving 18 years in prison he was exonerated based on DNA evidence connecting the attack to another man.
Avery was released in 2003 and filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Two years later, he was arrested in the death of Teresa Halbach, a young photographer whose charred remains were found on his family's auto salvage yard.
Last week, Avery filed two motions alleging violations of due process rights in his prosecution for the 2005 rape and murder of Halbach.
Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are each serving life sentences for her death -- Avery without the possibility of parole.
Avery said he wants to be released from prison while the Wisconsin Court of Appeals considers his latest challenge to his 2007 murder conviction.
The Netflix series has renewed interest in Avery's ongoing legal troubles, leading to calls for his release and a petition seeking a presidential pardon. It was declined because the President cannot pardon someone convicted of a state criminal offense. The only person who can, Governor Scott Walker, has said he won't do so.
Wisconsin prosecutors and law enforcement have accused the documentary directors of cherry-picking the evidence to cast it in a light favorable to Avery.
Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach
The docuseries shows how prosecutors laid out their case: Halbach's Toyota RAV4 (which had blood in it, including Avery's) was found on the Avery family's lot. Tissue and bone fragments that matched Halbach's DNA profile were found outside Avery's mobile home. Avery's then-16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed to authorities that he had assisted his uncle in raping and killing her.
The docuseries shows how the defense made the case that officers investigating Avery had a conflict of interest and stayed involved after they were ordered to hand over the investigation to a neighboring county. When key pieces of evidence were found by Manitowoc officers involved in Avery's first case, the defense implied the evidence could have been planted. The defense suggested Avery was framed for the murder of Teresa Halbach amid the pending multi-million lawsuit he filed against Manitowoc County following his exoneration.
Avery's appeal was written and filed by Avery himself before noted defense attorney Kathleen Zellner took on his case. One of the motions claims a search warrant executed on the property was invalid, meaning evidence from the search should have been inadmissible. The second motion claims a juror pressured others into voting guilty.
The motion seeks a stay of enforcement of the judgment and release on bond. If the court decides to vacate Avery's conviction based on his claims, prosecutors would have to decide whether to retry him without the impermissible evidence.
Avery has obtained new legal counsel since the Netflix docuseries was released. Chicago lawyer Kathleen Zellner on Friday, January 8th announced she is teaming up with the Midwest Innocence Project. The Law Firm of Kathleen T. Zellner and Associates has assumed representation of Avery in all of his pending criminal matters.
READ IT: Statement from Kathleen Zellner on Avery case.
As for Brendan Dassey, there is currently a federal habeas petition alleging that Dassey's constitutional rights were violated and it requests that his conviction be vacated.
Can't get enough of the Steven Avery story? Check out the Avery Archive at FOX6Now.com.