Why retired Wisconsin detective Andrew Colborn sued Netflix for his portrayal in Making a Murderer

Andrew Colborn, a retired Wisconsin detective, lost a defamation lawsuit against Netflix for his portrayal in the 2015 documentary series Making a Murderer.

In delivering the verdict, U.S. District Judge Brett Ludwig found that Colborn failed to show that Netflix and the show’s creators, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, acted maliciously toward him.

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Colborn had sued the streaming giant and the filmmaker in an April 2019 lawsuit alleging the documentary defamed him and misquoted his testimony. He further claimed that the documentary edited excerpts of his testimony and reactions in court to make him appear nervous and insecure.

He was represented by attorney George Burnett, who did not immediately respond to comments.

The 10-part documentary series, which aired in 2015, follows the story of Steven Avery. Avery spent 22 years in prison on sexual assault charges before DNA testing cleared him.

However, three years after his release in 2003, he was convicted again, along with his nephew, of the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. The courts sentenced her to life imprisonment.

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Avery was found guilty of murder in 2007 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The case gained further attention with the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, which raised questions about the fairness of Avery’s trial and the possibility of police misconduct and planted evidence.

Avery continues to maintain his innocence in the murder and is pursuing appeals and legal processes to have his conviction overturned. The case has been the subject of ongoing controversy and debate.

In delivering the verdict, Judge Ludwig noted that the changes maintained the gist of his testimony, aside from the fact that Colborn could not prove the streaming platform and creators had acted maliciously.


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