Magistrate who overturned Dassey conviction dismisses case

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WBAY) - A U.S. magistrate who overturned Brendan Dassey's conviction for the murder of Teresa Halbach has officially dismissed Dassey's petition on the Eastern District of Wisconsin court.

On Jan. 9, Judge William E. Duffin, in accordance with the mandate of the Court of Appeals, dismissed Dassey's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The U.S. Court of Appeals is a higher court, and they disagreed with Duffin's ruling in the case.

Duffin had overturned Dassey's 2007 conviction for 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, saying investigators violated Dassey's constitutional rights during interrogation.

Dassey was 16 when Halbach was killed. Court records show he had an IQ of 74 and was taking special education classes in high school.

Judge Duffin said repeated false promises by detectives, when considered with other factors like Dassey's age, intellectual deficits and the absence of a supportive adult, led him to determine that Dassey's confession was involuntary under the U.S. Constitution.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice appealed the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals. A panel of judges, in a 4-3 decision, disagreed with Duffin's ruling and denied Dassey's appeal.

Dassey's attorneys have said they are planning to take the case to the United States Supreme Court.

Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted during separate trials for the murder of Halbach, a freelance photographer.

Investigators said Halbach visited the Avery Salvage property near Mishicot on Halloween of 2005 to photograph a vehicle. They said her car and remains were found on the property.

The case drew scrutiny in 2015 with the release of Netflix docu-series "Making A Murderer."

Avery's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, continues to appeal Avery's conviction, claiming new testing of evidence and new witness testimony prove her client is innocent.

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