Brendan Dassey is a step closer to being a free man. A federal appeals court in Chicago this afternoon has upheld a lower court’s ruling in a 2 to 1 vote to overturn Brendan Dassey’s conviction for the October 31st 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach at the Avery Family Auto Salvage yard near Mishicot. Dassey along with uncle Steven Avery are serving life sentences for the crime. Last August federal judge William Duffin overturned Dassey’s conviction ruling that Dassey’s 2006 confession was improperly obtained by Manitowoc county investigators due to his intellectual deficits—a lack of an adult present during questioning and his age which was 16 at the time. Duffin also ruled that Dassey must be freed from prison within 90 days (December 12th 2016) unless the state decided to retry him. The state appealed that decision leading to today’s ruling. They (the state) can appeal to the United States Supreme Court but must do so within 90 days or Dassey must receive a new trial. The State Department of Justice issues this statement: “We are evaluating the decision from the court. We anticipate seeking a review by the entire 7th Circuit Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court and hope that today’s erroneous decision will be reversed. We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr Dassey to re-litigate his guilty verdict and sentence.”
Meanwhile Attorney Kathleen Zellner is leading an effort to free Avery from prison through advanced testing of evidence from the crime scene that Zellner says will exonerate her client.