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20060307: Serial Killer's Lawyer Glad He's not on Halbach Case WI Green Bay Serial Killer News

The lawyer who handled David Spanbauer's serial murders says he's glad he's not involved in Teresa Halbach's murder case, which now involves Steven Avery and Avery's 16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey.

Spanbauer was convicted in 1994 of kidnapping and murdering two children, and murdering a young Appleton woman about Teresa Halbach's age.

Tom Zoesch earned a lot of praise for the way he handled Spanbauer's case, but he found his experience handling Spanbauer emotionally draining.

"I was able to successfully keep my professional cool until it was all done. It wasn't easy, but I was able to do it," Zoesch told us. "Then I just broke down. I went home and I was just weeping."

He says Avery's attorney, Dean Strang, will walk an emotional tightrope as the case moves forward.

"People will ask me, 'How can you defend this person or that person?' and I liken it to an emergency room doctor and if two bodies are brought in at the same time, one is Jesus Christ and the other is Adolf Hitler or Attila the Hun, you've got to work just as hard to save the evil one."

Zoesch fully expects Avery's attorney will face the same thing. He feels the details of the Halbach murder are even more horrific than Spanbauer's.

"There wasn't the allegation involving David Spanbauer, for the most part, of torture, and that's a component in the Avery charge." And once he was arrested, Spanbauer pleaded guilty to the crimes and avoided a trial.

But he's uneasy with all the graphic details made public about how Avery and his nephew allegedly murdered Teresa Halbach. "If it goes to trial, I think it's going to be difficult to find twelve people who haven't formed some sort of opinion," he said.

And he's heard from other defense lawyers about what special prosecutor Ken Kratz has made public in this case.

"A number of them have commented that it was too graphic, too detailed., I'm not criticizing Mr. Kratz at all maybe it's a situation where you've got to be graphic."

Zoesch sees a scenario where Dassey would be offered a deal for his testimony against Avery. "His testimony against his uncle is going to be very detrimental to the defense and crucial and extremely helpful to Mr. Kratz."

 


Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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