Making a Murderer's Dassey faces release after ruling

Jerome Frank
June 27, 2017

The case was the subject of the hit docu-series "Making a Murderer", a Netflix production that was released in December 2015.

There's a new court victory for a man whose confession became a subplot in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer". Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of freelance photographer Halbach on Halloween of 2005. Investigators found burned human remains that matched Halbach's DNA, along with her vehicle, where they discovered multiple bloodstains. As ABC News notes, Avery was sentenced to life in a separate trial.

Last August, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that Dassey's confession was illegally obtained and that he should be released unless the state decides to retry him.

The judge overturned his conviction, ruling that he should be released or retried, but the Justice Department appealed the verdict, meaning Dassey remained in prison.

The state Justice Department appealed the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move that kept Dassey, now 27, behind bars pending the outcome.

The ruling came after Dassey's appeal was rejected by state courts. They can also appeal the full 7th Circuit panel or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Avery served 18 years of a 32-year sentence after he was wrongfully convicted for sexual assault. His decision also suggested he had "significant doubts" concerning the reliability of Dassey's confession.

The case caught the public's imagination in Netflix's documentary series Making a Murderer.

Thursday's ruling doesn't necessarily mean Dassey will be freed from prison. After several sessions, Dassey eventually confessed to being an accomplice to Halbach's rape and murder, and he was convicted for first-degree homicide, rape and mutilation of a corpse.

The state says it's reviewing the decision but has not provided further comment.

The attorneys for Brendan Dassey filed a motion Friday asking that he be released from custody at the Columbia Correctional Institution immediately. Koremenos said the office sends condolences to the Halbach family "as they have to suffer through another attempt" by Dassey to fight the conviction. The next appointment, Zellner says, was with Steven Avery, who claims Halbach arrived at 2:31 p.m., and left a few minutes after photographing his sister's van. Chief among them: Will Brendan Dassey get out of jail, and if so, when?

But Dassey's confession, according to the ruling, was "a story crafted by the investigators" and not by him. If they don't do either of those things in the next 90 days, then Dassey could be released from prison.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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