Brief filed in federal appeals court: Prosecutors argue Brendan Dassey’s confession was voluntary
Prosecutors on Wednesday, December 21st filed a brief in federal appeals court arguing Brendan Dassey voluntarily and accurately confessed to the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach.
The filing was part of a larger appeal of a ruling in August that overturned Dassey’s conviction.
In 2005, Dassey, then 16, confessed to authorities that he assisted his uncle, Steven Avery, in raping and killing photographer Teresa Halbach, whose charred remains were found on Avery family property in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
Judge William 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.”
In a September motion following the lower court ruling in Dassey’s favor, Attorney General Brad Schimel said two state courts had examined evidence in the case and determined that Dassey’s confession was voluntary and not the product of “constitutionally impermissible tactics.”
Dassey’s attorneys on December 6th filed new documents outlining why Dassey should be released from prison.
It could take months before the courts reach a decision.
Meanwhile, Dassey remains behind bars.
A federal appeals court in November blocked Dassey’s release after Schimel and the DOJ fought it.
Dassey was set to be freed under the supervision of the US Probation Office, but Schimel filed a motion seeking a stay of Duffin’s decision to release Dassey pending the appeal of his 2007 murder conviction.
The case was chronicled in the 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.
Dassey and Avery are each serving life sentences for the death of Halbach.
Avery has maintained his innocence throughout his original trial. He said he was framed and is seeking a new trial.