Judge orders release of Brendan Dassey in ‘Making a Murderer’ case

Bendan Dassey
Bendan Dassey

WISCONSIN (WBAY) – A federal judge has ordered Brendan Dassey to be released from a Portage prison as he awaits a potential retrial for the murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County.

Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery have been serving life prison sentences for the 2005 killing of the freelance photographer. The case gained global attention after the release of the “Making A Murderer”, a Netflix docu-series making a case that the convicted killers were set up by a vengeful Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office.

CLICK HERE to read full document ordering Dassey’s release

The order signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin on Monday says that a United States Probation Office monitor will make sure Dassey is compliant with the conditions of release imposed by the court.

Conditions include: Dassey shall not violate any laws, he must appear in court as required, he cannot have a gun or weapon, he cannot possess any controlled substances, and he cannot have contact with Steven Avery or the family of Teresa Halbach.

Dassey has until noon Tuesday to provide an address where he’ll be staying to the U.S. Probation Office. The office will then inspect the residence to make sure it’s suitable for Dassey.

A social worker and probation officers will help him transition to life out of prison after nearly 10 years behind bars.

Dassey’s travel will be restricted to the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Previous story: ‘Making a Murderer’ nephew’s lawyers file new papers asking for release

In August, a federal magistrate ruled that investigators coerced Dassey’s confession that he helped his uncle Steven Avery rape and kill Halbach in 2005. The judge overturned Dassey’s conviction, and Dassey filed a motion to be released. Dassey was 16 at the time he was interviewed by police.

“The court concluded that, when viewed collectively, various assertions and assurances the investigators repeatedly made to Dassey amounted to false promises that he would not be punished,” reads the August 12 order.

The state of Wisconsin is appealing the judge’s decision. In October, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel filed the opening brief in the state’s appeal.

“We’re still four or five months out from the briefing being done, then the court will consider the evidence. And, it was a nine-day trial, as I recall. There’s an enormous amount of evidence for the appellate court to look over and prepare with and so, it, we’re probably quite some months out from a decision,” Schimel told WBAY.

Steven Avery is appealing his homicide conviction with the help of Chicago-area lawyer Kathleen Zellner. Zellner took to Twitter to celebrate the judge’s decision in Dassey’s case.

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