Judge Orders 'Making a Murderer' Subject Brendan Dassey to Be Released from Prison
The subject of a Netflix documentary whose teenage confession to a Wisconsin murder saw his 2006 conviction overturned this week.
Brendan Dassey was found guilty of helping his uncle, Steven Avery, kill a young woman in 2005 after a videotaped confession that was featured in the 2015 docuseries "Making a Murderer."
On Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin ordered Dassey to be released within 90 days unless prosecutors choose to file an appeal.
Duffin wrote that investigators offered the teen false promises that "he had nothing to worry about" while interrogating him without a parent present about the slaying of Teresa Halbach at his family's salvage yard.
"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 U.S. Constitution, Duffin wrote.
The decision notes that the confession comprised "the entirety of the case against him on each of... three counts."
Following the release of the documentary, the sheriff’s office received an onslaught of criticism from the public for its handling of the Halbach murder investigation.
The sheriff’s department said less than a month after the documentary series’ premiere that it received between 250 and 300 phone calls and hundreds of emails, most of which were negative, about its role in the Avery case.