Teresa Halbach, a photographer, was murdered in 2005, and the convicted murderers, Brendan Dassey, 16, at the time of the crime, and his uncle, Steven Avery, have gained fame with the Netflix series about the crime, “Making A Murderer.” The fame and national attention grew new interest in the case and how police and detectives handled evidence.
Now a federal judge has overturned Dassey’s conviction based on false promises, Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
Brendan Dassey, who was convicted along with his uncle, Steven Avery, in the murder of Teresa Halbach, had that conviction overturned Friday by a federal magistrate judge in Milwaukee.
The shocking ruling, in a case made famous in the Netflix series “Making A Murderer,” could result in Dassey getting a new trial or being freed from prison. It gives prosecutors 90 days to decide whether to retry Dassey, although an appeal could extend the proceedings.
In his 91-page decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin was highly critical of investigators, Dassey’s pretrial attorney and the state courts on how they handled the case, concluding that Dassey’s constitutional rights were violated. He found that the prosecutor’s investigators made false promises to Dassey during multiple interrogations.
“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,” Duffin wrote.
A review of transcripts and several hours of recordings of the interrogations of Dassey, as well as interviews with legal experts, shows this:
Dassey — who at the time was a learning-disabled 16-year-old with no police record — was repeatedly questioned without an attorney by the prosecution’s investigators, who allegedly “fed” him facts of the crime that he eventually confessed to.
Dassey’s first lawyer not only allowed Dassey to be questioned alone, but had his own investigator pressure Dassey to confess.
For more, visit, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.