Case Summary : Penny Ann Beernsten

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Case Summary Penny Ann Beernsten, a thirty-six year old small business co-owner and physical fitness instructor, went through a traumatic experience on the afternoon of July 29, 1985. She jogged at a stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline in Wisconsin. She was planning on meeting with her father at the beach at 4:00 PM and she started the jog at 3:50 PM, but was grabbed and taken to the woods where she was raped and deprived her of oxygen by suffocation until she passed out. When she woke up, she walked out of the woods, where couples comforted her until she found her husband and finally the police. (Possley). On the rape kit thirteen strands of public hair were collected that were assumed that were left by the rapist. Beernsten provided a…show more content…
As strong as Avery’s alibi was, the victim’s identification prompted his sentence of thirty-two years in prison. Steven Avery did not give up and tried to prove his innocence. He tried in 1995 with some evidence under Beersten’s fingernails. While it revealed that it matched an unknown assailant, it didn’t eliminate Avery (Weghorst & Warden). In 2002, an attorney from Wisconsin Innocence Project got a court order to analyze the pubic hair collected in the rape kit, which was submitted to be compare to FBI databases. The hair did not match Avery, but did match Gregory Allen, who also lived around the area (Davey, 2005). In an article written by Susan Smith, she described this revelation as a “Cold Hit” because neither the scientist nor the police were looking for Gregory Allen despise the fact that there were several factors that would make him a suspect (Smith, 2006). On September 11, 2003, this revelation also made a joint motion by Manitowoc District Attorney’s Office and the Wisconsin Innocence Project to dismiss all the charges against Avery. The motion was granted and Steven Avery was released (Possley). Two years later, photographer Teresa Halbach who had taken photographs of cars that Avery wanted to sell, was raped and murdered. Avery’s blood was found in her vehicle and a bullet was linked to a weapon in his garage that also had some of Halbach’s DNA. Both Avery and his nephew were convicted to life for

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