A Manitowoc county judge has ruled that a jury from another county will hear the trial of Brendan Dassey. Judge Jerome Fox granted the defense motion in the case of Dassey, who's charged along with his uncle Steven Avery in the brutal October 2005 murder of Theresa Halbach , at the Avery auto salvage yard near Mishicott. In issuing his ruling, Judge Fox talked about the exceptional amount of media coverage the case has received; “there is a reasonable likelihood that it would be impossible to empanel an impartial jury for this trial,” in Manitowoc County.

Judge Fox denied several other motions brought by Dassey's attorney, Mark Fremgen. One requested a preliminary hearing, which Dassey had waived earlier on the advice of his previous attorney. Fremgen claimed ineffective assistance of counsel, but Fox ruled that claim cannot be made prior to a trial

And referring to an earlier decision , Fox again indicated he will not throw out a statement made by Dassey to investigators in which he confessed to having participated in Halbach's death. Dassey's statement, said Fox, “was a product of his free and unconstrained will. I see no reason to either change that conclusion, or go back and reconsider it.”

Dassey's trial is scheduled to get underway April 16. The Avery trial is to begin February 5th in Calumet County.

(audio WOMT )

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (1:50 MP3)

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