The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that a federal judge has overturned the conviction of Brendan Dassey for the 2005 murder of photographer Theresa Halbach. Dassey gained prominent fame last year as one of the subjects of Netflix’s hit documentary series, Making A Murderer, alongside his uncle, Steven Avery, who was also convicted for Halbach’s death in a separate trial.
16 years old at the time of the murder, Dassey is currently 11 years into a 41-year sentence for first-degree murder, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse. Today, though, federal magistrate William Duffin overturned those convictions, meaning that the government now has 90 days to either retry him, or release him. According to The Journal Sentinel, it’s likely that the ruling will be appealed.
Making A Murderer posits numerous discrepancies and errors in the investigation and prosecution of Halbach’s murder, including allegations that Dassey was coerced into a confession. It’s not clear how much influence the widely watched program has had on the course of Dassey and Avery’s cases; meanwhile, Avery currently remains in jail, with his convictions still stand.