Brendan Dassey ordered to stay in prison during appeal

Posted at 12:01 PM, Nov 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-17 19:13:21-05

Brendan Dassey has been ordered to stay in prison while he awaits the outcome of a pending appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled Thursday.

Judges Frank Easterbrook, Kenneth Ripple and David Hamilton granted the state's emergency motion to block Dassey's release, which was filed Wednesday. Federal Judge William Duffin had ruled Monday that Dassey should be released while the appeal is settled. Wisconsin's attorney general filed an emergency motion to try and block his release, and, when it was denied, took his argument to federal appellate court.

Over the summer, Duffin ruled Dassey's conviction should be thrown out, arguing his confession to investigators while he was interrogated about the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach was coerced.

Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, are serving life sentences for the 2005 slaying of Halbach in Manitowoc County. 

Dassey was convicted of several crimes in 2007 in connection with Halbach's death, including being party to first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse, as well as second-degree sexual assault.

The state has appealed Duffin's ruling on Dassey's conviction. It could be reinstated by the state either winning that appeal or taking the case to a full retrial.

In a statement put out on the website for the Northwestern Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, Dassey's attorneys said:

"The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Brendan Dassey must stay in prison until his appeal is resolved.  We are disappointed more than words can say.  The fight goes on."

Kathleen Zellner, Avery's appeals attorney, Tweeted out this message following the decision:

"Seventh Circuit just denied Brendan Dassey's release pending appeal outcome. Never easy. #MakingAMurderer