Wis. officer from 'Making a Murderer' sues Netflix for defamation

Andrew Colborn, a former Manitowoc County sheriff’s detective, filed a lawsuit against the streaming service alleging that the show implied LEOs planted evidence

By Kate Feldman
New York Daily News

A retired Wisconsin sheriff’s detective claims Netflix’s docu-series “Making a Murderer” falsely claims he and his colleagues framed Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for murder.

Andrew Colborn, a former Manitowoc County sheriff’s detective, filed a lawsuit against the streaming service and the series’ directors and executive producers Monday, alleging that the show implied that law enforcement officers planted evidence on Avery and Dassey.

The two men are serving life sentences for the 2005 murder of 25-year-old freelance photographer Teresa Halbach.

Colborn, who retired in March after 26 years on the force, claimed the filmmakers “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,” according to the lawsuit.

“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,” the lawsuit reads.

Among Colborn’s complaints were allegedly false implications that he moved Halbach’s SUV to Avery’s property and that he planted extracted Avery’s blood and planted it in Halbach’s car.

Colborn has requested “retraction and honest clarification of the erroneous and false statements and depictions described above to clear his good name and restore peace of mind,” as well as damages.

Avery was arrested in 2005, two years after he was released from jail after 18 years for sexual assault and attempted murder when he was exonerated through the Innocence Project, and charged with the gruesome murder of Halbach.

Halbach’s car, bones and teeth were found at Avery Auto Salvage, her last appointment before her death, according to police.

Avery was convicted of first-degree murder and illegal possession of a firearm and acquitted on the corpse mutilation charge, while his nephew, Dassey, confessed to rape, murder and mutilation.

The 2015 series, arguably Netflix’s most popular documentary, won several Emmys. including outstanding documentary or nonfiction series and outstanding writing and direction for nonfiction programming.

Netflix declined to comment when reached by the Daily News.


©2018 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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