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Andrew Colborn, who earlier this year retired from the police force in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, on Monday filed a defamation lawsuit over his portrayal in the celebrated Netflix docuseries Making a Murderer.
Colborn is targeting Netflix, producers and the filmmakers involved in exploring the 2007 convictions of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for the murder of Teresa Halbach.
Avery’s conviction hinged on evidence collected at the family’s auto savage yard in Manitowoc County. Making a Murderer raises doubts that Avery was culpable and pursues theories that law enforcement may have been looking to settle a score after Avery had been released from prison earlier on a sexual assault charge disproven by DNA testing.
As for Avery’s conviction for the Halbach murder, Colborn say he’s wrongfully shouldering blame
“Despite overwhelming evidence proving Avery and Dassey’s guilt and the utter absence of evidence supporting defendant’s accusations of police misconduct, defendants falsely led viewers to the inescapable conclusion that plaintiff and others planted evidence to frame Avery for Halbach’s murder,” states the complaint. “Defendants omitted, distorted, and falsified material and significant facts in an effort to portray plaintiff as a corrupt police officer who planted evidence to frame an innocent man. Defendants did so with actual malice and in order to make the film more profitable and more successful in the eyes of their peers, sacrificing and defaming the plaintiff’s character and reputation in the process.”
Here’s the full complaint, which objects to edited portions of Colborn’s testimony at the trial more than a decade ago plus more.
The upshot of the lawsuit, if any, is discovery. The second season of Making a Murderer premiered earlier this year without word on a third.
We’ll update with any comments from defendants.
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