Kathleen Zellner, Steven Avery‘s defense attorney, and former Calumet County Distract Attorney Ken Kratz have been at odds with each other for some time, especially since the second season of Making a Murderer aired on October 19. Kratz has repeatedly called Zellner’s methods “junk science” as she tries to prove Steven Avery’s innocence, and claims that the Wisconsin court considers her evidence a “joke.”
Zellner didn’t hesitate to fire back at Kratz after the comment, calling the former DA a “sweaty, sexting ex-prosecutor” who shouldn’t pass judgement on her team of experts with a suspended law license. She also questioned why the Wisconsin Department of Justice would ever hire somebody like Kratz.
Zellner Questioned Why The Wisconsin Department of Justice Would Hire Kratz, Who She Calls a “De Facto Spokesman” Who Reports Factual Inaccuracies
After things between Zellner and Kratz started to heat up, Zellner also took a jab at the Wisconsin DOJ for appointing Kratz in the first place, telling Newsweek: “I think it’s appalling the Wisconsin Department of Justice anointed this de facto spokesman, who has a suspended law license and a history of sexting. He continues to report factual inaccuracies. DOJ, can’t you do better than this?”
The back-and-forth between Kratz and Zellner kicked off after an interview Kratz had with USA Today Network-Wisconsin. During the interview, Kratz stated: “The audience is never told that Attorney Zellner’s ‘new evidence’ was little more than junk science, with its results having so little relevance to the contested issues that the court rejected them without even needing an evidentiary hearing,” he told USA Today. “Most legal experts in Wisconsin view Attorney Zellner’s ‘new evidence’ as a joke. I’m not sure how many times she needs to be thrown out of court before she admits her promises of identifying the ‘real killer’ was nothing but a desperate publicity stunt.”
Zellner didn’t hold back from reacting to Kratz’s accusations that her research methods were a joke. She blasted Kratz on Twitter in several different tweets, responding to some of his accusations, while simultaneously questioning the Wisconsin DOJ’s judgement for instating Kratz.
“So the sweaty, sexting, ex-prosecutor Ken Kratz who has never met the likes of my experts is blabbing again about “junk science” w/ a suspended law license,” Zellner wrote on Twitter on November 1.
Zellner Has Posted Several Tweets About Kratz, Continuing to Call Him a “Sweaty, Sexting Ex-Prosecutor”
She sent out another heated tweet on November 2, stating: “In contrast to the sweaty, sexting ex-prosecutor Kratz there are great prosecutors like Jim Glasgow who released my client and w/FBI caught the real killer of 3 yr. old Riley Fox,” referring to a client that Zellner helped exonerate year ago, who was accused of raping and murdering his own 3-year-old daughter.
Zellner’s “sexting” comment refers to an incident that occurred in October 2009, when Kratz was involved in a scandal after the former D.A. was accused of “sexting” a domestic violence victim whose boyfriend he was prosecuting. The victim filed a police report in Kaukauna, Wisconsin, alleging that Kratz had sent her 30 sexually suggestive text messages over the span of three days. She told police she felt that Kratz was trying to coerce her into a sexual relationship at the risk of dismissing the case against her boyfriend. During the investigation, two more women came forward accusing Kratz of similar intimidation and harassment. At the time, Kratz was serving as chairman of the Wisconsin Crime Victims’ Rights Board. He resigned the following October, and settled in court with the victim in 2013.
Zellner Believes That Her Evidence Will Be Enough To Get Avery an Evidentiary Hearing & That Kratz is Wrong To Claim That The Courts “Threw Her Out”
Responding to Kratz’s interview with USA Today, Zellner, claimed Kratz was incorrect to say the courts have “thrown her out,” since the Avery case has only been denied once, by a trial court, and is currently working on an appeal. Zellner is confident that the case will get an evidentiary hearing based on the scientific evidence she and her team have uncovered over the last few years.
“There’s so much evidence that shows there should be a second trial,” she said. “Avery should be retried. And if [the prosecution] so convinced that they’ve got such a strong case, let them try it against me and my experts. Let them convince a jury that they’ve got proof beyond reasonable doubt. With all the evidence out there, the blood, the paint on the bullet, let’s have a trial. What is the big fear of doing that?”
Kratz Continues to Express Criticism of Making A Murderer & Refused to Take Part in the Second Season
Despite his current standing with the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Kratz continues to express his criticisms of the Making A Murderer, claiming that they deliberately left out key pieces of evidence and that he still believes the right men are behind bars for the murder of Teresa Halbach.
“The second season, unfortunately, uses the same playbook as Season 1: deceptive editing, the omission of crucial evidence and personal attacks against the prosecutors, cops, and Teresa’s friends, which combine for a very one-sided view,” he said.
In response to his adverse portrayal in the series, Kratz went on a media tour following the first season of Making a Murderer, gave numerous interviews on the case, and wrote a book called The Case Against Steven Avery and What ‘Making a Murderer’ Gets Wrong. Kratz refused to take part in the second season of the show, and his opinions of both Avery and Brendan Dassey, Avery’s nephew who was also accused of involvement in the murder of Teresa Halbach, have not changed since 2007.