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The Latest: State says appeals court erred in Dassey case

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/22/2017

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Latest on an appellate court affirming that a confession was improperly obtained from Brendan Dassey, one of two defendants in a Wisconsin killing that was the focus of the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

A spokesman for Wisconsin's attorney general say an appeals court erred in affirming that a confession was improperly obtained from Brendan Dassey in a criminal case featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer."

A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday said "no reasonable court" could have any confidence that Dassey's confession was voluntary.

Dassey was sentenced to life in prison 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 the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard. Dassey was 16 at the time and had cognitive problems, and the lower court said detectives took advantage.

Wisconsin Department of Justice spokesman Johnny Koremenos says the office expects to seek review from the full 7th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court. Koremenos said the office sends condolences to the Halbach family "as they have to suffer through another attempt" by Dassey to fight the conviction.

The state could also re-try Dassey.

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3:20 p.m.

The defense team for Brendan Dassey, one of two men featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer," is welcoming an appellate ruling that Dassey's confession was improperly obtained.

Laura Nirider is with the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University. She calls Thursday's ruling from a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "a victory for Brendan."

Dassey was sentenced to life in prison 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 the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard.

A federal magistrate judge ruled in August that investigators coerced Dassey, who was 16 at the time and suffered from cognitive problems, into confessing and the appellate court agreed.

Dassey could be freed, or the state of Wisconsin could seek to re-try him.

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2:55 p.m.

A three-judge federal appeals panel has affirmed that a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was coerced into confessing and should be released from prison.

Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison 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 the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard.

A federal magistrate judge ruled in August that investigators coerced Dassey, who was 16 at the time and suffered from cognitive problems, into confessing.

The state Justice Department appealed the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit on Thursday affirmed the lower court and said Dassey should be freed unless the state chooses to retry him.

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