MADISON, WISCONSIN: Former Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Detective Andrew Colborn sued Netflix for defaming him in their documentary series ‘Making a Murderer’. But his appeal was overturned by a U.S. District Judge on Friday, March 10. A retired Wisconsin detective was portrayed in the 2015 documentary series, by filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, but the court found there was no malice towards the officer.
Streaming giant Netflix aired “Making a Murderer” in the 10-episode series. It follows the story of Steven Avery, who was sent behind bars for nearly 22 years for sexual assault before DNA testing cleared him. However, the antagonist was released in 2003 but was booked again four years later this time with his nephew, Brendan Dassey, in the 2005 murder and rape of photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery and Dassey were eventually convicted to life imprisonment.
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Colborn filed the lawsuit in April 2019
Netflix’s documentary series aims to ask legitimate questions about whether Manitowoc County officials framed them. Colborn, who was part of an investigation into the Avery case, filed a lawsuit in April 2019 accusing the documentary of defaming him by misquoting his testimony — and altering parts of his testimony. He also adds that the series twisted the reactions of others in court to make him appear nervous and uncertain at the time.
“There was no malice”
Judge Ludwig observed that the edits retain most of his testimony and Colborn failed to prove that the streaming service or the filmmakers acted maliciously towards him, which is a significant factor in any related case. to defamation. In other words, it can be termed as a situation where someone “intentionally makes a defamatory statement even though they know it to be false or shows reckless disregard for its truthfulness”, according to a report by ‘ABC News.
So far, George Burnett, the retired detective’s attorney, has not responded to the judgment.