DOJ wants decision on Dassey stay by 4 p.m.; Dassey attorneys send letter to judge

Brendan Dassey DOC photo
Dept of Corrections photo

UPDATE: Judge denies state’s motion, orders Dassey released by 8 p.m. Friday: http://wbay.com/2016/11/16/judge-denies-states-motion-to-stay-dassey-release/

PORTAGE, Wis. (WBAY) – The Wisconsin Department of Justice is asking a U.S. District Court to stop the release of Brendan Dassey.

In a motion to the court Tuesday afternoon, the DOJ asks for a decision by 4 p.m. Wednesday, saying it will file an emergency motion with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals by the end of the business day.

This comes a day after the same federal magistrate who overturned Brendan Dassey’s conviction back in August ordered Dassey’s supervised release from prison. The order by U.S. Magistrate William Duffin was handed down Monday.

CLICK HERE to read full document ordering Dassey’s release

The State argues that the court didn’t have the authority to issue the order for Dassey’s release, and it believes the Seventh Circuit will reverse the decision.

The State was given the choice to release Dassey, re-try him, or appeal the August ruling that overturned his conviction. The State believed by responding in September that it would appeal, that Dassey would not be released.

On Wednesday, Dassey’s attorneys sent a letter to Magistrate Judge Duffin saying the state’s motion for a stay “recycles old arguments already presented to and ruled upon by this Court.”

“Petitioner Dassey does not intend to file a response but instead stands on the facts and law presented in his Motion for Release on Recognizance and his Reply in Support of Motion for Release on Recognizance,” reads the letter signed by attorney Laura H.Nirider.

Click here to read the full letter.

Dassey’s attorneys say he will be ready to file a response in the appeals court if the state does file the emergency motion Wednesday.

The DOJ cites a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision that while a decision ordering the release of a prisoner is under review, courts are directed to “consider the possibility of flight, the risk of danger to the public, and… the State’s interest in continuing custody and rehabilitation pending a final determination of the case on appeal.”

The DOJ argues keeping Dassey in custody is in the public interest and that “harms to the State and Teresa Halbach’s family are real and substantial.”

This begs the questions: Will Brendan Dassey be released from prison and when?

Dassey, who’s now 27 years old, remains behind bars at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage. He and his uncle Steven Avery were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Teresa Halbach, a freelance photographer who disappeared after an assignment on the Avery property in October, 2005.

The judge’s order in August overturning Dassey’s murder conviction said the then-teenager’s confession to the crime was coerced by police.

Monday, the judge gave Dassey’s family until noon today, Tuesday, to provide an address where he intended to live to the U.S. Probation Office so it could conduct a visit.

Action 2 News talked with the chief probation officer Tuesday afternoon. He said he can’t tell us whether an address was submitted or if his team was able to check the home yet.

He said once they do have a place considered suitable for Dassey to live, they’ll work with his attorneys to make it happen.

Dassey’s attorneys have not returned our messages today and have been especially quiet on social media since the news broke Monday.

While most relatives and friends of Dassey are not commenting today, Action 2 News spoke with Sandy Greenman, Avery’s friend and ex-fiance, who said she spoke with Avery at length Tuesday morning and Avery feels very confident Dassey will be released in the next few days.