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Appeals court denies new trial for Brendan Dassey

by
Brendan Dassey in court (courtesy of FOX 11).
Brendan Dassey in court (courtesy of FOX 11).

WAUKESHA, WI (WTAQ) - Brendan Dassey will not get a new trial in one of Wisconsin’s most notorious murders.

Wednesday morning, the Second District Appellate Court in Waukesha upheld Dassey’s conviction from six years ago, for helping his uncle Steven Avery rape, shoot, and burn Teresa Halbach.

The brutal crime happened on Halloween of 2005 at the Avery family’s auto salvage yard near Mishicot in Manitowoc County – two-and-a-half years after Avery finished serving 18 years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit.

The case made national news because Avery was among the first in the U.S. to be acquitted by DNA evidence, only to be convicted later by DNA.

Avery and Dassey are both serving life prison terms – but Dassey has a chance for a supervised release in about 35 years.

Dassey is now 23. He was 16 when he made a confession to sheriff’s investigators that resulted in charges to both him and Avery.

His lawyers said Dassey was not savvy enough to sniff out the officers’ interrogation tactics – and they claimed that the lawyers in his trial were ineffective.

But the appellate court disagreed on both counts. The court sided with the trial judge, who said there was no evidence that Dassey’s conviction was “fundamentally unfair.” 

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