Dassey is serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Dassey was 16 years old when he confessed to helping his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Dassey was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, rape and mutilation of a corpse in April 2007. He is eligible for parole in 2048.
Some fans of “Making A Murderer,” which became an instant hit following its release in December 2015, believe police coerced Dassey into giving a false confession.
During a series of interviews with law enforcement officials, Dassey offered conflicting stories about what happened the day of Halbach’s death. His legal team has contended that Dassey’s confessions were the result of his low IQ and police telling him what they wanted to hear.
“We will continue to fight to free Brendan Dassey,” Laura Nirider, an attorney for Dassey, said Monday in a statement. “Brendan was a 16-year old with intellectual and social disabilities when he confessed to a crime he did not commit. The video of Brendan’s interrogation shows a confused boy who was manipulated by experienced police officers into accepting their story of how the murder of Teresa Halbach happened.”
U.S. magistrate Judge William E. Duffin overturned Dassey’s murder conviction in August 2016, ruling that his confession had been coerced. The Wisconsin Justice Department appealed Duffin’s decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which blocked Dassey’s release. The court later decided to uphold Dassey’s conviction.
Dassey’s legal team filed a petition in February requesting the U.S. Supreme Court review his case.
Avery was found guilty of first-degree murder and illegal possession of a firearm in March 2007, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
This article has been updated with comment from Nirider.