Brendan Dassey was convicted of murder along with his uncle Steven Avery eighteen years back. The court and jury found them guilty post-trial and sentenced them to life in prison.
Many people wonder if Brendan Dassey is still in prison. Yes, Brendan and Avery have been in prison for the murder of Teresa Halbach.
Their supporters mention that the officers framed them and the trial was unfair. However, the court has not taken any further notice or decisions regarding the case.
Who is Brendan Dassey?
Brendan Dassey is an American convict serving prison for the sexual assault and murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc Country for eight years. He was born to Peter and Barbara Dassey and has three brothers, including Bobby, Blaine, and Brian, and a half-brother Brad.
Why was Brendan Dassey Convicted?
The police convicted Brendan Dassey for the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Teresa was a photographer at Auto Trader magazine, and her last assignment was at Avery's Auto Salvage in Two Rivers. After this assignment at Avery’s place, Helbach went missing on October 31, 2005.
Later in November, police charged Avery with sexual assault, kidnapping, murder, and mutilating a corpse. A few months later, Dassey was convicted for facilitating assault, murder, and corpse mutilation alongside Avery.
During this time, Avery was the plaintiff in a $36 million civil lawsuit against Manitowoc County for his 18-year sentence in the 1985 sexual assault case. Avery was convicted of a woman's assault while jogging along Lake Michigan in 1985 when he was 23. The court sentenced him to 32 years in jail. Despite trying in 1987 and 1996, the court did not overturn his conviction.
Though in 2002, the Wisconsin Innocence Project conducted DNA testing on Avery as ordered by the judge, the facility was not available in 1985. DNA results showed Gregory Allen as the culprit while we were already serving a 60-year sentence for another sexual assault case. The court let Avry walk free in 2003 after serving prison for 18 years.
In March 2005, Avery was again sentenced to jail for life after a jury found him guilty post a six-week trial. Investigating teams found several pieces of evidence against Avery in Halbach’s murder case, including Avery's blood in Teresa Halbach’s vehicle, her car’s keys in Avery’s bedroom with his DNA on them, pieces of electronic devices, and a camera in a burning barrel, burned bone fragments in a fire pit at Avery's place, and a bullet in Avery’s garage with Teresa Halbach’s bedroom.
Steven Avery always pleads innocent despite all the physical evidence. On the other hand, Dassey told investigators that he sexually assaulted Teresa Halbach and was present when Avery killed her. He further mentioned that he helped Avery burn her body and other things. However, he later renounced his confession.
While the investigating teams could not find physical evidence against Steven Avery, the jury found him guilty in 2005 following the trial. The court sentenced him to life in prison with parole not allowed before 2048.
Dassey’s and Avery’s Appeal
Dassey is currently at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution and has no appeals in the works. He had hoped to be released in 2016 and 2017, but the court upheld the conviction. Prosecutors appeal the judge's ruling, and the court affirmed the decision in a 4-3 vote. They believed Dassey’s initial confession to the police was not coerced.
Meanwhile, Avery is currently at the Fox Lake Correctional Institution after being at the maximum security Waupun Correctional Institution for years. Since his conviction, Avery has filed numerous unsuccessful appeals for relief over the years. In his recent motion for post-conviction relief in 2022, he mentions that he has been framed and requested an evidentiary hearing.
In July 2021, a state appellate court said the motions were insufficient. They stated, "the motions are insufficient on their face to entitle him to a hearing and that the circuit court did not erroneously exercise its discretion in denying the motions to vacate and for reconsideration."
Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” and Brendan Dassey
Netflix released “Making a Murderer” based on Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery’s murder conviction. The series had viewers contemplating whether Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery were innocent or guilty. The first part of this true-crime documentary comprises 10 episodes, filmed over 13 years.
The series explains Dassey and Avery’s conviction story, mentioning Steven Avery’s stance on a wrongful conviction. Their attorneys are trying to get them out of prison using different perspectives, stating that their clients had nothing to do with the murder. The series has provided in-depth information to viewers regarding the real-life incident, but it is impossible to cover all details.
Thus, it has left viewers divided on their perspectives on the case. As he mentions, some believe Avery could be framed, while others think he is the culprit.
Dassey’s Allegations on Avery
Besides Brendan Dassey’s and Steven Avery’s conviction in the same murder and sexual assault, Dassey also alleged Avery sexually abused him. In a phone call from prison, he told his mother, "He would grab me somewhere where I was uncomfortable.” He also mentioned that Avery sexually assaulted his brother as well.
Despite Dassey mentioning Avery’s sexual abuse, the investigating officers did not give it enough importance and ignored the allegations. Dassey’s police interrogation transcripts also show that he told the police Avery would touch him through the pants. While many people believe this could be true and Dassey helped Avery with the murder due to the vulnerability, Avery’s attorneys say that it’s untrue.
The answer to "Is Brendan Dassey still in prison” is yes; he is still in prison. Dassey, at 16, was convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach, who came to Steven Avery's place for an assignment. She went missing on October 31, 2005; her last visit was to Avery's Avery's Auto Salvage in Two Rivers.
Investigations found evidence that showed Halbach was at Avery's location, and he apparently burnt her body and belongings. Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery are still in prison and are not eligible for parole before 2048.