Brendan Dassey lawyers petition for his release
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 5:16
The now 27-year-old was originally convicted in 2007 of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and second-degree sexual assault in the killing of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wisc., and was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 41 years.
The court said they took advantage of his young age and intellectual deficits and there were no other adults with him.
Johnny Koremenos, spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, called the decision "erroneous" and said the agency plans to request the entire 7th Circuit or the Supreme Court to review the ruling.
The case drew national attention after the premiere of Netflix's docuseries, which cast a critical light on the investigation and the convictions of both Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery in Halbach's murder.
During Dassey's interrogation, investigators can be seen feeding him information and leading him to give the answers they were looking for regarding the murder of Teresa Halbach. Dassey told detectives that he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard.
Viewers were almost unanimous in the opinion that Dassey was innocent and his confession had been coerced by investigators. Dassey has been in prison for more than a decade.
The state of Wisconsin has since issued a statement regarding the appeals case.
At the same time, one of Brendan Dassey's attorneys asked the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to order Dassey's release. After that, Dassey was supposed to be released from prison in November, but the state filed an emergency injunction to keep him jail.
The panel of judges was split in their decision.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said earlier Friday that the state would take whatever steps are necessary to keep Dassey behind bars.
In his dissent, Judge David Hamilton described the interview of Dassey as "gentle", and warned that the majority's ruling will pose new challenges for police officers.
The state justice department had harsh words, stating "We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr". Authorities insisted the series was biased.
The ruling stated that prosecutors' case against Dassey in the original trial rested nearly entirely on Dassey's interviews with police and one phone call with his mother - but no physical evidence.