Retired detective Andrew Colborn has filed a lawsuit against Netflix and the directors of the hit true-crime documentary series Making A Murderer, alleging that they falsely portrayed him as having planted evidence to frame a murder suspect, Variety reported.
In the suit filed at the Manitowoc County Circuit Court in Wisconsin on Monday, Colborn alleged that the series has brought him “worldwide ridicule, contempt and disdain” since its 2015 debut. In a press release, Colborn’s attorney Michael Griesbach said the show had “severely and unjustly defamed” his client as well as Manitowoc County, and that the lawsuit would set the record straight. Colborn retired from the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office in March.
Written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, Making A Murderer was premiered on Netflix in December 2015. A second season came out this October. The series follows Manitowoc County resident Steven Avery who spent 18 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder. In 2007, four years after he was exonerated, Avery was convicted for the 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach and is currently in jail. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was convicted as an accessory to Halbach’s murder.
The show’s first season examined the period from Avery’s 1985 arrest to his release in 2003 and his return to prison. The series alleges gaps in the investigation and alludes to forced confessions and evidence tampering. The second season examines the impact of the convictions on Avery, Dassey and their families. Making a Murderer has won four Emmy awards, including Outstanding Documentary of Nonfiction Series.
The defendants in the Colborn’s suit are Ricciardi, Demos, series editor Mary Manhardt and Netflix executives Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo. The suit alleges that “despite overwhelming evidence proving Avery and Dassey’s guilt”, the defendants “led viewers to the inescapable conclusion that plaintiff and others planted evidence to frame Avery for Halbach’s murder”.
The suit also accuses them of selectively editing footage and omitting, distorting and falsifying the facts in order to portray Colborn as a “corrupt police officer who planted evidence to frame an innocent man”.
Netflix did not respond to Variety’s request for comment.