A federal judge in Milwaukee on Friday overturned Dassey’s conviction, ordering that he be released from custody “unless, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the State initiates proceedings to retry him.”
As documented in the first season of Making a Murderer, 26-year-old Dassey was convicted — along with his uncle Steven Avery — of killing Teresa Halbach, a freelance photographer, in 2005.
“Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits and the absence of a supportive adult” led the judge to deem Dassey’s initial confession — taped when he was 16 years old — as “involuntary.” According to court documents, “investigators repeatedly claimed to already know what happened … and assured Dassey that he had nothing to worry about.”
The news comes just three weeks after Netflix announced it was moving forward with a quasi second season of the true-crime smash, one that would “take viewers back inside the story of convicted murderer Steven Avery and co-defendant Brendan Dassey as their respective investigative and legal teams challenge their convictions and the State fights to have the convictions and life sentences upheld.”
“Today there was a major development for the subjects in our story and this recent news shows the criminal justice system at work,” executive producers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said in a statement. “As we have done for the past 10 years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it wherever it may lead.”