Attorney General files first brief in Dassey appeal

Brendan Dassey DOC photo
Dept of Corrections photo

MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel filed the opening brief in the state’s appeal of a decision to overturn Brendan Dassey’s conviction.

Back in August, a federal magistrate ruled Dassey’s confession was involuntary because investigators used deceptive tactics to coerce the then-16-year-old into confessing to the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.

The judge gave the state 90 days to appeal the ruling, retry the case or release Dassey from prison. The State said last month it would appeal.

In the 151-page brief released Wednesday, the state lays out its argument why Dassey’s confession was voluntary, his mother gave permission and was not prevented from accompanying him, and he’d been read his Miranda rights.  It also says the court of appeals found investigators gave Dassey no promises of leniency, but that the law lets police use pressure and actively mislead a suspect during questioning. And when his phone conversation with his mother was recorded, a message made Dassey aware the call would be recorded.

Dassey told investigators he helped his uncle Steven Avery rape and kill photographer Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, and conceal her car and burn her body in a pit.

Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner is also looking for a new trial for her client.