‘Making a Murderer’: Judge Orders Brendan Dassey’s Release Pending Retrial

Steven Avery’s nephew will be supervised by authorities while he mounts appeal

Brendan Dassey

A judge has ordered the supervised release of “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, pending possible retrial.

According to court documents obtained by TheWrap, U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin “ordered that Dassey’s motion for release pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 23(c) (ECF No. 29) is GRANTED. The respondent shall release the respondent upon the United States Probation Office notifying the court that it has approved the proposed residence and completed whatever addition investigation it deems necessary.”

Dassey’s release is subject to conditions including that he may not violate any federal, state or local law and that Dassey must provide the address of his intended residence no later than Nov. 15. Dassey will not obtain a passport and can only travel in the court’s Eastern District of Wisconsin. He cannot possess a gun or any other weapons or possess any controlled substances.

Additionally, he cannot contact his uncle Steven Avery, who was also convicted of killing Teresa Halbach in 2005, or the family of Halbach.

The order also stated that Dassey does not offer any represent any danger to the community.

“Dassey has no criminal record other than this case,” read the document. “His prison disciplinary record is exceedingly benign … There is no hint of violent or antisocial behavior from his time in prison.”

The United States Probation Office may also propose that the court add any additional conditions or modify conditions of Dassey’s release.

In August, Dassey’s conviction was overturned. Judge Duffin granted Dassey’s writ for a petition of habeas corpus, finding that Dassey’s imprisonment was unlawful because his confession to the murder of Teresa Halbach was involuntary.

In a brief filed with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals within 90 days of the decision, Attorney General Brad Schimel appealed the decision, asking for Dassey to remain behind bars: “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.”

On Monday, Schimel announced he would be filing an “emergency motion in the Seventh Circuit seeking a stay of this release order.”

The saga surrounding Halbach’s killing in Wisconsin around Halloween 2005 and whether Dassey’s uncle Steven Avery committed the brutal act was the focus of Netflix’s hit docuseries “Making a Murderer,” which gained wide acclaim and interest after it was released in December 2015.

Dassey, who is now 26, was convicted in 2007 of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse in Halbach’s murder. His lawyers filed this writ of habeas corpus in 2014.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.