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Brendan Dassey


Lawyers are to fight for the release of Brendan Dassey, a suspect and prisoner featured in the Netflix documentary, Making a Murderer, after judges backed a ruling that his confession was coerced.

However, it now looks like the 27-year-old could face a retrail after a panel of three judges ruled against the prosecutors' appeal on Thursday night.

Brendan was just 16-years-old and mentally impaired when he confessed to helping his uncle, Steven Avery, kill Teresa Halbach.

As documented in Making a Murderer, Teresa's remains were found at the Avery family scrap yard in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, in 2005.

Previously, the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that “no reasonable court” could find his confession was voluntary.

In a joint statement, Brendan's legal team said: “We are overjoyed for Brendan and his family, and we look forward to working to secure his release from prison as soon as possible.” 

“As of today’s date, Brendan Dassey has lost 4,132 days of his life to prison.”

The ruling doesn't necessarily mean Brendan Dassey will be freed from prison, as the state can appeal to the US Supreme Court, but it does pose questions to police, prosecutors and the US justice system.  


A federal judge in Wisconsin has ordered the release of Brendan Dassey, who was handed a life sentence in 2007 for his involvement in the murder of Teresa Halback.

After almost a decade of imprisonment for the killing documented in Netflix’s Making a Murderer, Steven Avery’s nephew could be released within 90 days.

According to TMZ, Dassey’s impending release will be subject to a number of conditions.

He must remain in the eastern part of Wisconsin, cannot obtain a passport and cannot possess weapons or controlled substances.

The 27-year-old is also forbidden from contacting Steven Avery and the family of Teresa Halback.

In August, Dassey’s conviction was overturned after a judge found his constitutional rights had been violated when he was interrogated without an adult at the age of 16.

Feat image: Netflix


Today, Steven Avery remains behind bars at the maximum security Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.

He is currently serving a life-sentence for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, who was killed in October 2007.

However, now his nephew Brendan Dassey has had his conviction for his role in Ms Halbach's death overturned – and inevitably people are asking what this means for Steven himself. 

Kathleen Zellner began representing the Netflix star in January when a fresh appeal was filed at the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and she is working on his appeal case.

Avery's legal team said in a statement following the news that a judge had overturned Mr Dassey's conviction:“We are thrilled for Brendan Dassey that his conviction has been overturned.

"We fully expected this outcome from an unbiased court that carefully examined his confession.”

Ms Zellner continued: "I was just visiting Steven Avery and he is so happy for Brendan. We know when an unbiased court reviews all of the new evidence we have, Steven will have his conviction overturned as well.”

In June, Avery's appeal case was delayed by 90 days after Ms Zellner requested an extension. That extension runs to the end of this month. 

Steven was previously jailed for 18 years for the 1985 rape of Penny Beernsten but was exonerated after DNA evidence proved it was not him.

It was later revealed the real rapist was Gregory Allen and that there was evidence the Manitowoc County Sheriff department were aware he could be the perpetrator during the initial investigation.

Two years after being released from prison in 2003 he was arrested for the murder of Ms Halbach, whose remains were found in a burn-pit outside his home.

The makers of Making A Murderer reacted to Brendan's planned release with a statement: "Today was a major development for the subjects in our story and this recent news shows the criminal justice system at work.

"As we have done for the past ten years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it wherever it may lead."


His controversial conviction sparked countess debate when Making A Murderer was released late last year.

But now – in breaking news from the US – it has been confirmed that Brendan Dassey will be released from jail within a matter of weeks.

A federal judge sitting in a Milwaukee court has just now overturned Mr Dassey's conviction.

According to court documents, Brendan should be "released from custody unless, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the State initiates proceedings to retry him."

Netflix's Making A Murderer documented Brendan and his uncle Steven Avery's trials following the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in October 2005.

Brendan's trial lasted nine days and on April 25, 2007—after the jury had been deliberating for four hours—he was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse.

At the time Brendan was still just 17, but was both tried and sentenced as an adult.

He is currently imprisoned at Columbia Correctional Institution.