Judge formalizes overturning of Dassey's appeal

    Brendan Dassey (Photo source: Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections)

    MILWAUKEE (WLUK) – As ordered to do so by a federal appeals court panel, a federal judge today dismissed Brendan Dassey’s appeal.

    The required procedural move by the judge clears the way for Dassey to appeal his conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin ruled in August 2016 in Dassey’s favor, tossing out his confession and overturning his conviction. Prosecutors appealed, and eventually won a decision last month by the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, keeping his conviction intact.

    That order included instructions for Judge Duffin to dismiss the case. The one-page order was filed today, court records show.

    The U.S. Supreme Court only takes a small percentage of the cases it is asked to review.

    Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted of murdering the freelance photographer after she came to the Avery property to take pictures of a vehicle for an advertisement. Avery and Dassey are serving life prison terms.

    Avery's most recent legal move was to appeal a Sheboygan County judge's ruling denying him a new trial to the state Court of Appeals.

    Dassey and Avery's cases gained attention in 2015 after Netflix aired "Making a Murderer," which examined Halbach's death and spawned conjecture about Avery and Dassey's innocence. Authorities who worked on the cases said the series was biased.

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