Lawyers seek to free inmate featured in ‘Making a Murderer’

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorneys for a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” petitioned for his immediate release Friday after a federal appeals court ruled that his confession was coerced.

Lawyers for Brendan Dassey filed papers Friday with the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals asking that he be released on his own recognizance, saying Thursday’s decision by a three-judge appeals panel left no reason for further delays.

The state is unlikely to prevail in any further appeals or if it retries the case without his confession, they wrote, but said those appeals could prolong Dassey’s time in prison “by months, if not years.”

The court gave prosecutors until 5 p.m. Monday to file a response.

Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach’s death on Halloween two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach at the Avery family’s Manitowoc County salvage yard. Avery was sentenced to life in a separate trial.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said earlier Friday that the state would take whatever steps are necessary to keep Dassey behind bars. He said it would be dangerous to release him, given the seriousness of the crime. Speaking on WTMJ-AM, Schimel said his initial move would be asking the full 7th Circuit to review the panel’s decision.

A federal magistrate judge overturned Dassey’s conviction in August, ruling that investigators coerced a then-16-year-old Dassey, who suffers from intellectual challenges, into confessing. That court said Dassey, now 27, should be freed, but put a hold on his release pending the appeal.

In a 2-1 decision, the appeals panel affirmed that court’s ruling, saying “no reasonable court” could have any confidence that Dassey’s confession was voluntary.

Avery is pursuing his own appeal in state court. He and Dassey contend they were framed by police angry with Avery for suing Manitowoc County over his wrongful conviction for sexual assault years earlier.

Their cases gained national attention in 2015 after Netflix aired “Making a Murderer,” a multi-part documentary looking at Halbach’s death and the ensuing investigation and trials. Authorities insisted the series was biased.””

In a Friday, March 3, 2006 file photo, Brendan Dassey is escorted out of a Manitowoc County Circuit courtroom, in Manitowoc, Wis. A three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit on Thursday, June 22, 2017 affirmed that Dassey, a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” was coerced into confessing and should be released from prison. Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach’s death two years earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

Local News

Average US vehicle age hits record 12.6 years as high prices force people to keep them longer

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: New constitution is tough sell

Local News

The Informer: Rare cases of people being infected with bird flu

Local News

Mayor: Iowa will join Summer Food Service Program despite initial concerns

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Salvation Army reopens emergency shelter after four-year absence

Local News

Cassidy highlights need for permitting reform, lower energy costs to compete with China

Local News

Sowela offers short-term training in Jennings

Crime

5/21: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

McNeese Sports

Breakfast baseball for Cowboys

Local News

Jennings wants to buy former school property for fire station

Crime

Defense rests without ex-President Trump taking the witness stand in his New York hush money trial

Local News

Judge blocks Biden administration from enforcing new gun sales background check rule in Texas

life

‘Storytelling’ exhibit features work of Buddy White

life

Temporary water service interruption scheduled for Park Drive

Local News

Clement named interim police juror to fill Tramonte’s seat

Business

Red Lobster seeks bankruptcy protection days after closing dozens of restaurants

Local News

Iran’s president, foreign minister die in helicopter crash at moment of high tensions in Mideast

Local News

WikiLeaks founder Assange wins right to appeal against an extradition order to the US

Crime

Prosecution rests in Trump’s hush money case, and defense now gets its turn to call witnesses

Local News

Kennedy, Cassidy demand Biden withdraw rule that would transfer $147B in student debt to La. taxpayers

Local News

All SW La. school districts support Title IX lawsuit filed against DOE

Crime

5/20: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Power restored to most hit by deadly Houston storm with full service expected by Wednesday

Local News

ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Netanyahu