Appeals court grants stay keeping ‘Making a Murderer’s’ Dassey in prison


PORTAGE, Wis. (WBAY) – “The fight goes on.” That’s the message from Brendan Dassey’s attorneys after an appeals court on Thursday denied his release from prison.

“The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Brendan Dassey must stay in prison until his appeal is resolved.  We are disappointed more than words can say.  The fight goes on,” reads a statement from the Center from Wrongful Convictions of Youth. CWCY is part of the legal team helping the “Making a Murderer” subject with his appeal.

On Thursday a 3-judge panel on the Seventh District Court of Appeals granted a stay to Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, denying a lower court’s order that Dassey be released from prison.

“It is ordered that the appellant’s motion to stay is granted. The district court’s order releasing appellee Brendan Dassey is stayed pending resolution of this appeal,” reads the decision.

The ruling from the appeals court comes one day after U.S. magistrate judge William Duffin signed an order for Dassey to be released from Columbia Correctional Institution no later than Friday at 8 p.m.

The appeals court is higher than the district court on which Judge Duffin serves, thus the Seventh District decision stands.

Dassey’s cousin and family spokesperson Carla Chase reacted on social media by saying “words can’t express what we are feeling.”

Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery are serving life sentences for the 2005 murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County.

The Netflix docu-series “Making A Murderer” has prompted a re-examination of the investigation and the convictions.

Earlier this year, Judge Duffin overturned Dassey’s conviction, saying his confession to investigators was coerced.

The state of Wisconsin is appealing that ruling.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel argues that the state has a strong likelihood of success on appeal, that Dassey’s release would have irreparably harmed the state, that Dassey’s interests do not warrant a release, and that his release would harm the public interest.

The state argues that the federal court didn’t have the authority to issue the order for Dassey’s release, and it believed the higher court would reverse the decision, which is what happened Thursday.

The DOJ released this statement following the appeals court ruling:

“Moments ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted the State of Wisconsin’s motion to stay U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin’s order to release Mr. Brendan Dassey. Mr. Dassey will remain in prison pending the outcome of the appeal.”

Meanwhile, Dassey’s uncle Steven Avery is appealing his conviction for Halbach’s murder. Since his trial, Avery has been adamant that he was framed by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Office.

Avery attorney Kathleen Zellner has said she’s pinned down testing that can determine the age of blood in Teresa Halbach’s car to determine if it was planted from a vial of Avery’s blood police had almost ten years earlier. Halbach’s vehicle was found on the Avery Salvage property following her disappearance on Oct. 31, 2005.

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