Lawyer to panel: No promises made to Dassey

Lawyer to panel: No promises made to Dassey

State attorneys are trying to persuade a panel of federal appellate judges that a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer” was properly convicted.

Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach’s death two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in Manitowoc County.

A federal magistrate judge overturned Dassey’s conviction in August, ruling investigators coerced him into confessing. The state Department of Justice has appealed. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard oral arguments in the case Tuesday.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported DOJ’s Luke Berg argued detectives never made Dassey any specific promises. Dassey attorney Laura Nirder countered detectives made a “drumbeat” of promises.

The defense said Dassey had a low IQ, was just a teenager at the time and was overpowered by his interrogators.

There is no timetable for the panel to issue their ruling. If the judges decide that Dassey was unfairly convicted, the state will have to decide whether to retry the case. Dassey has been incarcerated for more than 10 years.