Brendan Dassey, 27, was supposed to be released from a Wisconsin prison by 8 p.m. tomorrow, but a federal appeals court just blocked his release.
Dassey, one of the subjects of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” was convicted for assisting his uncle Steven Avery in the murder of Teresa Holbach in 2007. His conviction was overturned on the grounds that investigators tricked him into a confession, but that decision was later appealed. After a US magistrate ordered his release on Monday, the Seventh District Court of Appeals filed a successful emergency motion to keep him incarcerated pending the appeal.
Judge Duffin, who ruled that Dassey should be released in the meantime, says he did so because prosecutors failed to demonstrate that Dassey is a threat to the community, citing his “exceedingly benign” record while in prison.
“The investigators repeatedly claimed to already know what happened on October 31 and assured Dassey that he had nothing to worry about,” Duffin wrote in August when he overturned the conviction. “These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Wisconsin attorney general Brad Schimel appealed that decision a month later, saying, “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.”
As a result, Dassey will remain in prison until the outcome of the appeal is decided.