When Making a Murderer hit Netflix in December 2015, no one knew it would become the sensation that it did. Over the next few months, everyone involved in the series found themselves on a national platform. The success allowed the series' filmmakers to snag a second season and two featured defense lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, to do a national tour talking about the case. But what about the documentary's main subject? Where is Steven Avery in 2018?
Everyone may know his name now, but Avery's day-to-day life hasn't changed that much. That's because, according to Wisconsin inmate records, Avery is still in prison, serving out his life sentence for the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. As reported by the Post-Crescent, Avery was convicted for Halbach's murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2007. He's been behind bars ever since, although he has adamantly claimed he is innocent. He's mounted numerous appeals in the 11 years since his sentencing — though, as noted by The Wrap, all of them have been denied.
But Avery hasn't given up. Since taking on his case in 2016, Avery's new lawyer Kathleen Zellner has continued to mount a defense for her client. As Bustle previously reported, between April and September of 2018, she fought in various courts to have a CD allegedly containing new evidence added to Avery's appeal. However, per another Post-Crescent article, a judge ruled it contained the same information present in materials the defense has had since 2006, and her request was ultimately denied.
Despite that setback, Zellner tweeted that she and Avery were still pressing forward. "So far only 1 Judge has ruled on Avery. At least 10 more will review before a final decision is made — on this evidence. If he is not freed we will file again. Never going to end until he is free," she wrote on Sept. 8, following the latest denied appeal.
Then, after the Season 2 premiere date of Making a Murderer was announced on Sept. 25, Zellner tweeted to update people on where Avery's case stands now — 11 years after his sentencing and nearly three years after the first season.
"STEVEN AVERY IS INNOCENT — NO DOUBT!!" she tweeted in all caps on Sept. 26. The following day she added, "Facts Matter: We are at the BEGINNING not END of Steven Avery’s post-conviction appeal process."
So it seems like Avery's story is nowhere near finished, even if his daily life hasn't been changed too much. According to the aforementioned Wisconsin inmate records, he's currently serving out his sentence in Waupun Correctional Institution, where he's been since 2014.
A Post-Crescent journalist toured Waupun and described the inmates' routines in August 2017. He reported that inmates usually start their days at 6 a.m. During the day, some may work jobs like producing license plates. They can access the computer, but not the internet — and they can watch local TV, but not cable. Then it's lights out at 10 p.m. unless inmates choose keep their own cell lights on later.
It's notable that inmates aren't permitted to watch cable or surf the web, because that means Avery hasn't even seen the docuseries that made him famous. But he did acknowledge in the Part 2 trailer that he's blown away by the interest in his case. "You know, some people, they feel really bad and sad that everything's happened to me ... I didn't think all of these people would care," he says in the clip.
It will be interesting to see what the public reaction is to Part 2 of the show — but unless viewers write to Avery or his family or his lawyer tells him about it, he'll likely not know anything about the second installment or the public's perception. For now, he'll continue serving his sentence, unless Zellner is able to get his conviction overturned.