The Former Sheriff From 'Making A Murderer' Is Suing Netflix For Defamation
A retired sheriff who was featured in the documentary series is suing the streaming platform and its creators, alleging he was defamed by his portrayal.
Retired detective Andrew L. Colborn has alleged that the documentary series -- which was filmed over 13 years and followed the case of murdered photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005 -- suggested he planted evidence to frame murder suspect, Steven Avery.
In the suit filed against filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos as well as Netflix by the former Manitowoc County Sheriff's police officer on Monday, he claims that filmmakers:
"Omitted, distorted, and falsified material and significant facts in an effort to portray [Colborn] as a corrupt police officer who planted evidence to frame an innocent man. Defendants did so with actual malice and in order to make the film more profitable and more successful… sacrificing and defining [Colborn’s] character and reputation in the process.”
His lawyer, Michael Griesbach, added his client has been subjected to "worldwide ridicule, contempt, and disdain" since the series' 2015 debut.
"He is filing this lawsuit to set the record straight and to restore his good name," Mr Griesbach added.
Colborn was mentioned heavily throughout the first season of Making a Murderer, most notably in episode 5, which highlighted Colborn’s testimony regarding a phone call he made to his dispatcher prior to the discovery of Halbach’s car on Avery’s property.
The ex-officer alleged that viewers were not properly informed about Avery's DNA being found on Halbach's car, personal items belonging to the victim that were found in a barrel on Avery's property, and Avery's changing statements regarding his interaction with the photographer on the day she was murdered.
“Their manipulation of this crucial line of testimony falsely conveyed to viewers that plaintiff located Halbach’s SUV somewhere other than at the salvage yard days earlier and likely assisted other law enforcement officers plant it there at a later time,” the suit read. “The impression is false and gave to viewers the exact opposite impression of what the plaintiff was asked and how he responded at trial.”
Steven Avery and his 16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted of the murder in 2007.
Making a Murderer was one of Netflix's biggest hits in 2015, with the series nabbing four Emmy Awards in 2016, and a second season of the series which followed Avery and Dassey's conviction.
You can check out the series on Netflix here.