‘Making a Murderer’: Wisconsin to Appeal Brendan Dassey’s Overturned Conviction

“We believe the magistrate judge’s decision … is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law,” state’s Attorney General says

Brendan Dassey

The state of Wisconsin is appealing Brendan Dassey’s overturned conviction in the murder of Teresa Halbach as chronicled in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer.”

“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,” Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement.

“Two state courts carefully examined the evidence and properly concluded that Brendan Dassey’s confession to sexually assaulting and murdering Teresa Halbach with his uncle, Steven Avery, was voluntary, and the investigators did not use constitutionally impermissible tactics.”

Schimel filed the notice of appeal in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on Friday.

“The Halbach family has been notified of the appeal and fully supports the State’s decision to seek justice on behalf of their daughter,” he added.

On Aug. 12, federal magistrate judge William E. 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 reaching that decision, Duffin wrote that the “misconduct” of Len Kachinsky, Dassey’s court-appointed attorney, was “indefensible.”

The state of Wisconsin had 90 days to initiate retrial proceedings or Dassey would have been released from prison, where he has been serving a life sentence with eligibility for parole in 2048.

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 the writ of habeas corpus in 2014.

The saga surrounding Halbach’s killing in Wisconsin on 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 last December.