Local News

Dassey to remain in prison during appeal

MADISON, Wis. - A federal appeals court has ruled that a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" must remain behind bars even though his conviction has been overturned.

Brendan Dassey was convicted in 2007 of raping and killing Teresa Halbach and sentenced to life in prison. A federal judge in August overturned his conviction, saying investigators coerced him into confessing. State attorneys have appealed that ruling.

Brad Dassey, Brendan's half brother, told news 3 Thursday he is "very angry" after learning Brendan will stay in prison.

The judge on Wednesday ordered Dassey released from prison by 8 p.m. Friday. The state Justice Department asked the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an emergency motion to block the release.

A three-judge panel of the appeal's court on Thursday agreed to block Dassey's release, pending the resolution of the appeal.

Attorney General Brad Schimel's request was originally denied on Wednesday by a district judge. His office then filed the same request with an appellate court. Legal experts said this is pretty standard.

"They reverse lower courts sometimes so it's not out of the ordinary that a court would do this," said Keith Findley, co-director of the innocence project at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Findley said while the hit show "Making a Murder" won't impact the court case, the show has been instrumental in reshaping public opinion.

"'Making a Murderer' is creating a lot of conversations and public awareness about the criminal justice system, about the problem or wrongful convictions, about the fact that innocent people do in fact confess to crimes they didn't commit," Findley said.

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