In a letter to Sheboygan County Court Judge Angela Sutkiewicz—dated Friday, August. 24th—Steven Avery’s post-conviction attorney Kathleen Zellner informed Sutkiewicz that her client would not be seeking to further supplement his motion.
Zellner’s letter to the judge read, “Please be advised that we will not be seeking to supplement Mr. Avery’s previously filed motion to Supplement his prior post-conviction petition. After a careful forensic examination of the Dassey computer, our computer expert has detected massive image deletions that would render any new forensic examinations meaningless. We have enclosed our experts report of the image deletions and labelled it as ‘Exhibit A’ to this letter.
Gary Hunt, Zellner’s forensic computer expert found 64,464 files & images had been deleted from the Dassey home computer between the time a copy of the computer’s hard-drive was made in May of 2006, through to the time of his latest examination this past week.
The deletions, accounting for more than 44% of the computers ‘images’ included vast deletions of ‘Windows Live Messanger/MSN Chat [logs]’ totalling more than 10,000 deletions—close to 94%.
Perhaps of note, would be deletions of ‘images’ relating to ‘Internet Explorer 10-11 Main History.’ Dates for the software’s release being 2012 and 2013 respectfully, indicate that deletions would not have been possible for these ‘images’ prior to those dates.
A detailed timeline for deletions was not included in Zellner’s letter to Sutkiewicz. As to whether Hunt was able to determine the precise times of deletions for specific ‘images’ remains unclear, but Zellner, via Twitter indicated that the deletions made were due to a party in ownership of the computer rather than State officials—in relation to the time that Calumet County Sheriff’s Department took back the Dassey computer into their possession.
What is known, is that previous deletions to the Dassey home computer were detected by Hunt prior to its seizure on April 21st, 2006 by Special Agent Thomas Fassbender of the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Hunt cited not only 8 deletions, but also potentially relevant timings for those deletions.
Whether Hunt has been able to do the same for the latest deletions remains unclear, as does their relevance. Considering the time-frame between when the computer’s hard-drive was first copied and Hunt’s latest forensic examination—some 12 years—it would perhaps not be unreasonable for deletions to have occurred. However, knowing exactly which ‘images’ have been deleted could prove pertinent.
Judge Angela Sutkiewicz’s ruling on Avery’s request to supplement his motion is due no later than September 4th.
- H/T @netsirK_Rene for providing letter & exhibit.
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