Brendan Dassey’s conviction for helping Steven Avery kill Teresa Halbach in 2005 is overturned by a federal judge. Attorneys for Dassey, who was 16 at the time of the murder, had filed a petition in federal court asking a judge to decide whether the arrest and conviction of Avery’s nephew were legal.
Judge William Duffin’s 91-page decision cited repeated promises made to Dassey by investigators, as well as his age and “borderline to below average intellectual ability” and the absence of a supportive adult while he was being questioned, in determining that his confession was involuntary.
Dassey will not be released immediately – Duffin gave prosecutors 90 days to initiate proceedings for a retrial.
The trials of Dassey and Avery were detailed in the popular 2015 Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. The series focused attention on the case and on Manitowoc County, where the murder of Halbach and subsequent investigation took place.