The Wisconsin Attorney General’s office has filed a notice to appeal the exoneration of Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey.
Dassey, along with his uncle, Steven Avery, was convicted of first-degree homicide mutilation of a corpse and second-degree sexual assault in the killing of Teresa Halbach in 2005. At 17-years-old, he was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 41 years.
The 10-part documentary was released on Netflix in Dec. 2015, following the case and calling into question the investigation and trials that put Avery and Dassey behind bars. Eight months later, Dassey’s conviction was overturned by a Wisconsin judge.
In that decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin wrote the confession was involuntary for a number of reasons.
“The investigators repeatedly claimed to already know what happened on Oct. 31 and assured Dassey that he had nothing to worry about. These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Dassey was to be released from custody within 90 days if the state did not refile. However, documents filed Friday by attorney general Brad D. Schimel state his plans to appeal the judge’s decision, keeping him in jail for the time being. Schimel didn’t include any arguments for upholding Dassey’s conviction; those will come later.
He is currently being held at Columbia Correctional Institution.
Halbach was killed in 2005, sometime after she went to the Avery family auto salvage yard to photograph some vehicles.
Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time, confessed to helping Avery carry out the rape and murder of Halbach, but lawyers argued that the confession was coerced.
Avery remains convicted of murder, but continues to appeal that conviction from prison. It’s not immediately clear if Dassey’s overturned conviction will have any impact on Avery’s case.
Avery previously made headlines in 2003, when he was released from prison after spending 18 years behind bars for a rape he didn’t commit. He had a $36 million lawsuit pending against public officials when Halbach disappeared.
*With files from Chris Jancelewicz and the Associated Press