Wisconsin AG appeals ruling on 'Making a Murderer' nephew Brendan Dassey

Posted at 3:09 PM, Sep 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 23:18:32-04

MILWAUKEE --  For now, 26-year-old Brendan Dassey isn't going anywhere.  He will remain in prison for the murder of Teresa Halbach while the state fights a court ruling that could set him free.

Friday, Attorney General Brad Schimel said he will appeal a federal judge's order that overturned Brendan Dassey's conviction for murder.

In 2007, Dassey was sentenced to life in prison.  August 12 a federal judge overturned the conviction, ruling detectives coerced Dassey to confess when he was 16.

“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,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “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.”

"Ultimately what the Seven Circuit is going to have to decide is wether or not Brendan Dassey's rights really were violated.  Was his confession involuntary?  Federal Magistrate said yes.  The Appelate Court and the State of Wisconsin and the Circuit Court Judge from Wisconsin said no," explained Jeff Wagner, Former Federal Prosector/WTMJ Radio Host.

Former Federal Prosecutor Jeff Wagner says the next steps will take time.

"Unless something unique happens there will be about three months for a briefing process and after that the Seven Circuit will schedule the oral arguments and then they'll come up with a decision.  So I don't think you're going to have anything new on this case for probably at least six months maybe more than that," said Wagner. 

Dassey's attorneys say, "We are disappointed in the State's decision to prolong Brendan's case by seeking an appeal. We look forward to continuing to defend his rights in court. Like Brendan, we remain grateful to his many supporters for their continued loyalty and strength."

Dassey's uncle Steven Avery has a pending appeal for his murder conviction.  Part of a tweet from Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner reads "Just prolonging the injustice." 

Wagner doesn't believe Dassey's appeal will affect Avery's case.

"Brendan Dassey's confession was not used against Steven Avery.  I think the Avery attorneys argue that maybe some of the jury pool might have heard about that so they might have been tainted, but these are really two completely separate things....where it all ends who knows?" said Wagner.

If the state had not appealed, Dassey could have been set free as soon as November. 

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