‘Making a Murderer’ Subject Brendan Dassey to Remain in Prison, Judge Orders

Judge orders Dassey remain behind bars pending an appeal by Wisconsin attorney general

Brendan Dassey

It appears that Brendan Dassey won’t be home for Thanksgiving after all.

Dassey, whose story was chronicled in the Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer,” will remain in prison pending an appeal of his overturned conviction, Attorney General Brad Schimel said Thursday.

“Moments ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted the State of Wisconsin’s motion to stay U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin’s order to release Mr. Brendan Dassey. Mr. Dassey will remain in prison pending the outcome of the appeal,” Schimel’s office said in a release.

The decision comes just days after U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin ordered Dassey’s release.

A court order issued Thursday confirms the decision, reading, “IT IS ORDERED that the appellantʹs motion to stay is GRANTED. The district courtʹs order releasing appellee Brendan Dassey is STAYED pending resolution of this appeal.”

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 photographer Teresa Halbach was involuntary.

On Monday, after Dassey’s release was ordered, 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.