Brendan Dassey's conviction overturned

Federal judge orders Dassey released from prison
Posted at 3:11 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 20:39:06-04

Brendan Dassey, a Manitowoc County teen convicted of killing a photographer in 2005, may be getting out of prison.

Dassey's conviction was overturned by a federal judge Friday.

According to the order, Dassey must be "released from custody unless, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the State initiates proceeding to retry him."

Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted of killing Teresa Halbach.

Their case received international attention following the release of the Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer."

Magistrate Judge William Duffin said in Friday's ruling that investigators made false promises to Dassey by assuring him "he had nothing to worry about."

"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," Duffin wrote. The ruling comes after Dassey's appeal was rejected by state courts.

Dassey confessed to helping Avery carry out the rape and murder of Halbach, but attorneys argued that his constitutional rights were violated throughout the investigation.

Dassey was 16 when Halbach was killed in 2005 after she went to the Avery family auto salvage yard to photograph some vehicles.

Avery was tried and convicted separately in the homicide. Both Avery and Dassey are serving separate life sentences.

The filmmakers behind "Making a Murderer" cast doubt on the legal process used to convict Avery and Dassey, and their work has sparked national interest and conjecture. Armchair investigators have flooded Twitter and message boards, and key players in the case have appeared on national news and talk shows.

Manitowoc County Executive Reacts to Brendan Dassey Decision

Authorities involved in the case have called the 10-hour series biased, while the filmmakers have stood by their work.

One of Dassey's lawyers, Jerry Buting tweeted "Justice finally strikes!" in response to the ruling. 

Attorney Kathleen Zellner, who has taken on Avery's case, also reacted to the news via Twitter, stating "Justice for Brendan as another LE fabricated confession bites the dust. Convicting the innocent foiled by unbiased court."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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