Attorney General Brad Schimel said Friday that the state has filed a notice of appeal in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The move comes after a federal magistrate last month threw out Brendan Dassey’s confession in the case, after ruling that it was involuntary.
Judge William Duffin noted that Dassey, who was 16 at the time of the murder, displayed “borderline to below average intellectual ability,” was given repeated promises by law enforcement, and did not have a supportive adult with him during questioning.
“We believe the magistrate judge’s decision that Brendan Dassey’s confession was coerced by investigators, and that no reasonable court could have concluded otherwise, is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law,” Schimel said in a statement. “Two state courts carefully examined the evidence and properly concluded that Brendan Dassey’s confession to sexually assaulting and murdering Teresa Halbach with his uncle, Steven Avery, was voluntary, and the investigators did not use constitutionally impermissible tactics.”
Dassey and his uncle were convicted in the 2005 murder of Halbach. Interest in the case was renewed earlier this year following the release of the Netflix miniseries “Making a Murderer.” The production highlighted the investigation into Halbach’s murder and the trials of both men, while also raising questions about police conduct. It has attracted worldwide attention to the story and prompted calls to reopen the investigation. Avery’s attorney recently asked for the ability to do new tests on DNA evidence in the case.