A US judge has ordered the immediate prison release of Brendan Dassey, who was one of the subjects of Netflix‘s smash doco series ‘Making A Murderer‘.

Dassey, 27, was 16-years-old when he was accused of helping his uncle, Steven Avery, rape, murder, and dispose of the body of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach, who disappeared in Manitowoc Country, Wisconsin in November 2005.

Dassey, who has learning difficulties, confessed to the crimes, and he and Avery were both sentenced to life in prison.

Judge William Duffin has now ordered his release on the grounds that Dassey’s confession was involuntary.

“The court concluded that, when viewed collectively, various assertions and assurances the investigators repeatedly made to Dassey amounted to false promises that he would not be punished,” he said.

“These false promises, when considered in conjunction with the fact that Dassey was only 16-years-old, had significant intellectual deficits, had no prior experience with law enforcement aside from this investigation, was alone with the investigators without the benefit of an attorney or other allied adult, as well as other factors, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”

Dassey is set to be released on strict conditions. He is not allowed to obtain a passport, possess a firearm, destructive device, or other dangerous weapon, now shall he use or possess any controlled substances unless prescribed. He’ll have to submit to any drug test deemed appropriate by his probation officer. He’s also not allowed to leave the state of Wisconsin without approval from the court.

However, his lawyer Kathleen Zellner, who specialises in overturning wrongful convictions, tweeted that Wisconsin Attorney-General Brad Schimel is filing an emergency motion to prevent his release.  


More to come.

UPDATE: Zellner does not appear to be worried that Schimel will prevent Dassey’s release.


Photo: Making A Murderer.