Federal judge orders the release of Brendan Dassey

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MILWAUKEE -- A Wisconsin federal judge has ordered the release of Brendan Dassey, the man convicted of helping his uncle kill a woman in a case profiled in the popular Netflix series "Making a Murderer," while prosecutors appeal his overturned 2007 murder conviction.

U.S. District Judge William Duffin on Monday, November 14th ordered the release of Dassey -- to be freed under the supervision of the US Probation Office.

In 2005, Dassey, then 16, confessed to authorities that he assisted his uncle, Steven Avery, in raping and killing photographer Teresa Halbach, who went missing on Halloween in 2005. Her charred remains were found in November 2005 on Avery family property in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

The case was chronicled in the controversial 10-part Netflix series "Making a Murderer," which suggested that investigators took advantage of Dassey's youth and limited intellect to coax him into confessing to a crime he didn't commit. Court documents stated that Dassey IQ's was "assessed as being in the low average to borderline range."

Dassey, who has been incarcerated at a state prison in Wisconsin, later recanted.

Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach

Avery property

Avery property

Judge Duffin overturned Dassey's conviction in August, citing the manner in which the confession was attained. He called it "so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the court of appeals' decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law."

"The court's decision rests on a fundamental principle that is too often forgotten by courts and law enforcement officers: Interrogation tactics which may not be coercive when used on adults are coercive when used on juveniles, particularly young people like Brendan with disabilities," said Dassey's attorneys, Steven A. Drizin and Laura Nirider, in August.

The state has appealed the ruling overturning Dassey's conviction.

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Dassey's supervised release was not immediate Monday, and is contingent upon him meeting multiple conditions.

As part of the motion, Dassey must provide to the court the address of his intended residence no later than noon on Tuesday, November 15th. He has also been ordered not to have any contact with the family of Teresa Halbach or co-defendant Steven Avery. He must also not possess a firearm or any controlled substance. Dassey's trial is also restricted to the Eastern District of Wisconsin -- and he "shall not obtain a passport."

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is trying to block Dassey's release:

"U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin granted a motion for release in the Brendan Dassey case. Attorney General Brad Schimel intends to file an emergency motion in the Seventh Circuit seeking a stay of this release order."

"I would imagine that the 7th Circuit is going to issue a decision one way or another with regard to that decision, sometime within the next week to 10 days or so," Chris Cherella, Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer said.

Steven Avery's attorney reacted on Twitter Monday:

Zellner issued the following statement on Monday afternoon:

"Very disappointing that the Wisconsin Attorney General is seeking vindication rather than justice."

Dassey's legal team at the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth released this statement:

"Today, the District Court granted Brendan Dassey’s motion for release on bond. We are in the process of making arrangements for his release and hope that Brendan will be reunited with his family by Thanksgiving, if not sooner. We urge everyone to respect Brendan’s privacy during this time of transition.

As we give thanks this holiday season for family and friends, our food will taste all the sweeter because we know that for the first time in ten years, Brendan will be celebrating in freedom with his family, too."

A 48-page motion filed in federal court in September after his conviction was overturned in August argued Dassey was not a flight risk and would not pose a danger to the public if he’s released.

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

The judge in August ruled that Dassey, now 27, be freed within 90 days unless prosecutors appealed or decided to retry him.

"If they determine that Judge Duffin`s order to suppress the statement was indeed correct, ultimately the state will have to make a decision to re-try him without that statement," Cherella said.

Steven Avery

Steven Avery

54-year-old Avery is serving a life sentence at a Wisconsin prison.

He has maintained his innocence throughout his trial. He said he was framed and is seeking a new trial.

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.

9 comments

  • Dr. Evil

    Good now he’ll finally get to see Wrestlemania and turn in his 6th hour class project!! Poor little bugger!!

  • RON

    It’s hilarious to see the PANIC in the Prosecution team now that this entire bogus case is unraveling! They are doing everything to hang onto the slippery rope that hopefully will eventually expose the corruption. I read EVERY WORD and listened to every audio and video of Brendan’s interrogations and there is NOT even ONE statement he made that was not first fed to him by the police.
    The State did not know that revealing the facts of the case in a documentary would come out 10 years later and bring them down. They thought it was put to bed 10 years ago. Ken Kratz tried to squelch the case years ago, by filing suit against the film makers to prevent this. He had the foresight to realize the potential, but was denied his demand.
    Claims that evidence was left out are true; most of the exculpatory evidence that has been released in media websites recently was not shown due to time to show it was limited, such as the complete audio and video and transcripts that prove this never happened as portrayed by the prosecution. Just the fact Steven was convicted of killing Teresa in the garage and Brendan in the trailer! The news conferences that vilified them, poisoned the entire case and made it possible to convict innocent people while the real perpetrators are free to roam the streets like happened to the first case where Gregory Allen continued to commit crimes, some of which he was caught for. The Prosecution should be sent to jail when this goes down for making this happen.

    • Dr. Evil

      I agree wholeheartedly with you Ron. Of course any subsequent Wisconsin state court that looks at this case will just keep upholding unjust prior rulings. It takes the feds to take a fresh look and see the coercion that took place in the interrogations. Just a joke that these so-called investigators are so proud of themselves because they outsmarted a developmentally disabled child. Actually disclosing the fact in the interrogation that the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head which only the real killer would know was a pretty stupid mistake. Hopefully they free him.

    • Sony

      I watched every second of the interviews too. He wasn’t coerced by the cops and he sure wasn’t coerced by his mother when she came in the room and asked him why he did it. Read the court transcripts of his trial if you can stomach them. The only victim here is Teresa; not Steven or Brendan. Steven thought he could frame Brendan for the murder which does make him somewhat of a victim.

      • Dr Evil

        Sony apparently you cannot comprehend what you read so your comments here are just rubbish. Like when these two so called investigators kept asking him what they did to her head and Brendan replied “cut her hair?” Obviously he was being coerced to give them the answers they wanted you freaking moron!

    • Sony

      Dr. Evil congrats on your certificate class from Netflix junior college. Like I said, read the court transcripts. There is a reason that a jury convicted a minor to life in prison. They didn’t do it for fun.

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