Saturday, 19 January, 2019

A timeline of events in the Brendan Dassey case

A timeline of events in the Brendan Dassey case A timeline of events in the Brendan Dassey case
Melinda Barton | 24 June, 2017, 02:30

Brendan Dassey, a subject of the Netflix documentary series "Making a Murderer", won a major court victory Thursday, as a federal appeals court upheld an earlier ruling by a federal judge overturning his conviction.

Brendan Dassey, now 27, didn't admit "from his own free will" that he helped his uncle murder and sexually assault photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005, a US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in a 2-1 vote.

Dassey, then just 16 years old, confessed to helping his uncle Avery - who had already served 18 years for a crime he did not commit - rape, kill and mutilate Ms Halbach. In November, the state Justice Department appealed Duffin's decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit - blocking Dassey's release pending a hearing.

The state Justice Department appealed the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a move that kept Dassey, now 27, behind bars pending the outcome.

The panel was split, with judges Ilana Rovner and Ann Williams supporting the ruling and David Hamilton disagreeing.

"We are evaluating the 2-1 decision from the court. The pattern of questions demonstrates that the message the investigators conveyed is that the "truth" was what they wanted to hear", reads the decision. The ruling came 10 years after Dassey was convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a 25-year-old photographer. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach. They have 90 days to decide whether they'll retry him.

He added, "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".

Dassey offered conflicting versions of his story, according to the court opinion.

Avery is pursuing his own appeal in state court.

But a tape of the police interview with Dassey looks less like a detailed confession and much more like coercion.

In the motion, attorneys Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin ask the court to lift a stay that's blocking Dassey's release from prison. He said he was framed and is seeking a new trial.

A coerced confession is not admissible in a criminal trial.

Last year, a judge ordered that he be released as he said the confession was coerced and consideration had to be given "to his age, intellectual deficits and the absence of a supportive adult".

November 14, 2016: A judge rules that Dassey should be released while prosecutors appeal the decision that overturned Dassey's conviction.