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'Making a Murderer's Brendan Dassey Conviction Overturned, Could Be Released In 90 Days

Brendan Dassey, one of the subjects of 'Making a Murderer', could be released in 90 days after his conviction was finally overturned by a federal judge.

A judge has ordered that Brendan should be "released from custody unless, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the State initiates proceedings to retry him."

Dassey, the 16-year-old nephew of 'Making a Murderer's central subject Steven Avery, was convicted on three counts -- first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse -- for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in 2007 and was sentenced to life with no parole for 41 years.

Many observers as well as experts had criticized the Manitowoc Sheriff's Department over Dassey's coerced confession and, following the worldwide coverage of the case via the documentary, the court finally agreed.

Dassey, who has an IQ of between 69 and 73, had been interviewed several times by officers who assured him they "already knew" what happened and led him down a narrative in which he implicated himself along with their target, Steven Avery.

Interviewed for hours at a time without an attorney or parent present and picked up straight from school, Dassey often replied with short, one-word answers until officers gradually broke him down. He was so clueless that even after implicating himself in a murder by joining their narrative, the teenager wondered whether he could leave the interview to hand in his homework.

The judge rendered Dassey's confession involuntary under the Fifth Amendment.

His attorney tells ABC News: "This is right, this is justice. We are over the moon. We were notified and I read this decision on my phone... 91 pages, unbelievable. The family is grateful, in shock, trying to process this."

In a brief statement, 'Making a Murderer' filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi, who are already rolling on a second season, say: "Today there was a major development for the subjects in our story and this recent news shows the criminal justice system at work. As we have done for the past 10 years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it wherever it may lead."

Steven Avery remains convicted of Halbach's murder, but is appealing the decision. He is currently serving life in prison without parole and maintains that police planted evidence against him.

August 15, 2016 |

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