Three federal appeals judges ruled on Thursday that the confession of Brendan Dassey, a Wisconsin teenager featured in the Netflix docuseries "Making a Murderer" was improperly obtained, according to The Associated Press. Judges are requesting that he should be re-tried or released from prison.
Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 following the death of Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years prior. During his interrogation, Dassey, 16 at the time, told detectives that he had helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in the Avery's family Manitowoc County salvage yard. He was sentenced to life in a separate trial.
News of Dassey's possible re-trial or release from prison comes months after a federal magistrate judge ruled in August that investigators had coerced Dassey, who suffered from cognitive problems, into a confession. As a result, his conviction was overturned. But the state Justice Department appeal that verdict, which has kept Dassey, now 27, behind bars pending the outcome.
Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, said he hopes "that today's erroneous decision will be reversed."
"We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr. Dassey to re-litigate his guilty verdict and sentence," Koremenos added.
Dassey's lawyers, however, are elated with the latest decision, and will take immediate steps to secure his release as soon as possible.