Appellate court denies motion, keeps Dassey behind bars

Published: Jun. 28, 2017 at 2:27 PM CDT
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An effort to release Brendan Dassey from prison was denied Wednesday by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 7th Circuit's ruling was handed down Wednesday with no further explanation, only one line: "It is ordered that the motion to lift the stay is denied."

In November, a federal magistrate that overturned Dassey's conviction ordered his release. Dassey's supporters hoped to see him freed by Thanksgiving, then Christmas, but State prosecutors have so far successfully argued to stay that release order.

Last week, the appellate court in Chicago agreed 2-1 with the magistrate's ruling that Dassey's confession was unfairly coerced. Dassey's attorneys immediately filed a motion to have Dassey released on his own recognizance.

But Wednesday's decision means the release order stays on hold while the State furthers its appeals. Prosecutors say they'll ask to have the case heard by all members of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, not just the three-judge panel.

Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery are serving life prison sentences for the 2005 rape and murder of Teresa Halbach.