Almost a year after Making a Murderer first arrived on Netflix, a judge has ordered that Brendan Dassey be released from prison.
The 27-year-old – who has spent almost 10 years in jail – confessed to helping his uncle Steven Avery rape and murder Teresa Halbach in Wisconsin back in 2005.
But as the documentary series revealed, there are major questions over the police investigation methods – particularly as Dassey, who has learning difficulties, was assured by officers that "he had nothing to worry about" before his confession.
Magistrate Judge William Duffin, who overturned Dassey’s conviction, wrote, “These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the fifth and 14th amendments.”
Now Dassey’s lawyer Steve Drizin has said that Dassey should be out of jail and back with his family for Thanksgiving on 24 November.
"That's what I'm focused on right now, getting him home, getting him with his family and then helping him to re-integrate back into society while his appeal plays out," Drizin told the Associated Press.
Under his release conditions, by midday on Tuesday, Dassey must let the probation and parole office know the address where he plans to stay, while he’s been warned he can not have any contact with the Halbach family, nor his uncle and co-defendant Steven Avery.
Judge Duffin has ruled that in order for the release to happen, Dassey must submit the address of where he plans to reside by Tuesday – and that he also be supervised upon release.
Wisconsin’s attorney general will appeal the decision, while the legal team of Dassey’s uncle Steven Avery – who also served 17 years for a rape he didn’t commit between 1986 and 2003 – hope he will also be cleared by DNA evidence.
Avery’s attorney Kathleen Zellner filed a motion back in August for tests to be carried out on case evidence. Now Zellner has confirmed that the tests will go ahead following an Agreed Testing Ordered.
This means both Avery’s defense team and prosecutors have worked out a written agreement for the tests.
Zellner was due to file the order yesterday, meaning the details will soon be available to the public.
The original motion included requests to test Teresa Halbach's car keys and parts of the car itself – where police found Avery’s DNA. Tests on underwear found in Avery’s scrapyard and swabs from the trial have also been requested.
This includes the blood that – as fans of the show will remember – Avery’s lawyers claimed had been taken from a vial of his blood already held by the police and allegedly planted at the crime scene.
Avery was tried separately to his nephew Dassey, and sentenced to life imprisonment in June 2007.
These recent developments should make for fascinating viewing when the second season of Making a Murderer eventually arrives on Netflix.