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Walt Kelly is the Milwaukee lawyer who represented Steven Avery in his civil lawsuit after being freed from jail the first time, and he just finished watching the Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer" that is causing such a huge stir around the country.
And Kelly, who did not represent Avery in his homicide trial, thinks that lightning can strike twice and that Avery may well be freed from jail a second time.
"There is a momentum to things like this," he said. "I know the two women who did the documentary. They arrived in Manitowoc thinking, I think, that they were going to get into some lefty kind of story about being wrongly convicted. Instead they spent 10 years getting this story.
"I think the documentary was amazing and so detailed."
Kelly didn’t want to touch the idea of whether the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department framed Avery, a key theory of the defense lawyers Dean Strang and Jerry Buting.
"I will say this," Kelly said. "I think Dean and Jerry did an outstanding job under some very, very trying circumstances.
"I went up there for the preliminary hearing after Steve got arrested. At one point I thought that they might try for a change of venue. But opinion in that community was split right down the middle, half for the cops and half for Avery. I’m sure the lawyers thought, reasonable doubt, and didn’t try to change the venue.
"Then came the bombshell with Brendan (Dassey)," Kelly noted about Avery’s nephew who confessed, then later recanted his confession, to committing the crime with his uncle. "That changed everything and made it much harder on the defense."
Kelly pointed out there is a habeas corpus action pending on Dassey and that it has been sitting around for more than a year. A habeas corpus is a legal action seeking relief from unlawful imprisonment.
Kelly, who is one of the top lawyers in Milwaukee, said there was no way he was going to defend Avery in the homicide trial.
"I’m a civil lawyer. The only way I would have been involved would be if Steve Glynn (one of Milwaukee’s most prominent defense attorneys) would have taken the case and I would have helped."
Glynn and Kelly handled Avery’s civil lawsuit and I asked him about Avery.
"What you see in the documentary is what he is," Kelly said. "He’s a simple man. Very plain spoken. There are times when he seemed to get everything, and other times when he seemed a little confused. But he’s been through a lot."
Kelly said he was uncertain about the legal steps necessary to get Avery either out of jail or a new trial.
"I’ve read the appellate briefs," he said. "I can’t imagine a judge not seeing what Brendan’s attorney and investigator allowed to happen to their client and not be concerned about it.
"I think this film is the kind of thing that can really bring results for Steve. We’ll see."
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
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Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.