'Making a Murderer' Sparks New Bill

Posted at 7:05 PM, Jan 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 20:20:42-05

A popular Netflix documentary about a Wisconsin man exonerated for a rape he didn't commit only to be convicted of murder years later has sparked a potential change in Tennessee law.

In the documentary 'Making a Murderer,' filmmakers outline the way in which Steven Avery ended up behind bars for a crime that some say he didn't commit.

During the investigation more than ten years ago Avery's then 16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey is also implicated and charged in the crime.

Multiple times though law enforcement interrogated the juvenile with no guardian or lawyer present and lawmakers in Tennessee are trying to prevent something similar from happening in the Volunteer State.

"If someone is 30-years-old or 70-years-old they get representation so shouldn’t a juvenile have representation?" state Rep. Mike Sparks told NewsChannel 5 on Tuesday.

Sparks, a republican from Smyrna, is proposing a bill that would require a parent or guarding be present during any police interview when juveniles are suspected of breaking the law.

"I think it just brings juveniles a little more representation and hopefully a little bit level playing field," he added.
On Tuesday the star of the breakout documentary, Steven Avery, filed an appeal to have his conviction overturned. Avery says his due process right have been violated and that a search warrant used to search his Wisconsin home more than ten years ago wasn't valid.

Avery was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of photographer Teresa Halbach a decade ago. Avery had been wrongfully convicted years earlier in a rape case and served 18 years in prison. He had a lawsuit pending against Manitowoc County when he and his nephew were arrested in Halbach's death.

Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann says he hasn't seen Avery's appeal, which was filed Monday. He stands by the investigation.