Brendan Dassey, the Wisconsin inmate and subject of Netflix's Making a Murderer, has been awarded a new trial on the basis that his confession to police had been coerced. That judge overturned Dassey's conviction according to WISC-TV.
Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years earlier.
Thursday's ruling doesn't necessarily mean Dassey will be freed from prison.
Attorney Laura Nirider said they want to send Dassey home to his mother as soon as possible.
"We anticipate seeking review by the entire Seventh Circuit or the United States Supreme Court and hope that today's erroneous decision will be reversed", he told new agency Reuters in an email.
"Dassey to re-litigate his guilty verdict and sentence".
Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were convicted of murdering a young woman, Teresa Halbach, in 2005.
Laywers acting for Dassey, who is serving life imprisonment along with Avery, will now fight for his release after judges upheld a previous court decision to throw out the convict's confession. The series was filmed over a course of 10 years. Dassey was 16 at the time of the confession.
"There was no physical evidence linking Dassey to the murder of Halbach - investigators did not find any of Dassey's DNA or blood on any of the many objects that were mentioned in his confession - the knives in Avery's house, gun, handcuffs, bed, RAV4, key, or automotive dolly", the decision states. Zellner spoke with her client about the decision in Dassey's case. He initially said that he only helped Avery clean some fluid from the garage floor. In another version, Dassey told detectives that he heard screaming from his uncle's house as he brought him his mail.
January 30, 2007: A judge says defence attorneys can tell jurors that Avery was wrongfully convicted of rape and may use as evidence a vial of his blood found unsecured in the Manitowoc County courthouse.
Based on the documentary footage, it sure looked like Dassey was coerced into confessing to the crime, and that's also what the filmmakers intended the audience to think.
On the day Dassey confessed, lead investigators Tom Fassbender and Mark Wiegert pulled him out of school and questioned him alone for hours. Duffin determined that Dassey's constitutional rights were violated because investigators for the prosecution made false promises during multiple interrogations. He said it would be unsafe to release him, given the seriousness of the crime. He gives prosecutors 90 days to decide whether to retry Dassey.
Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, said his office was evaluating the decision. Let me know in the comments!