With So Many Talking About The Steve Avery Case Few Are Discussing His Nephew Brendan Dassey

By now you’ve either watched or heard friends, family or coworkers discuss the gripping ten-part true-crime Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. It tells the story of Steven Avery, a Making A MurdererWisconsin man who was convicted of a rape he didn’t commit in 1985 on astoundingly flimsy evidence.

After serving 18 years in prison, Avery was freed due to DNA evidence exonerating him of the rape conviction. However, in a bizarre twist he was accused in 2005 of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a young photographer working for an auto trader type magazine, whose cremated remains were found on his family’s massive auto-salvage lot where Avery and other members of his family live.  In another odd set of circumstances, Steven Avery was arrested for the murder of Halbach while in the middle of depositions for his civil lawsuit against the sheriff’s department and district attorney of Manitowoc County for his wrongful conviction where Avery stood to gain an eight figure settlement.

Avery was convicted of the murder of Halbach along with his nephew, the then teenage Brendan Dassey, who law enforcement was able to get a sketchy at best confession from.

The conversations that are taking place about Steven Avery all across the country online as well as on television talk shows are pointing to the significant holes in the prosecution’s case against Avery, with a lot of the conversation focusing on what appears to most to be police misconduct. However, it’s the Brandon Dassey conviction that is the most jaw dropping as it relates to credible evidence or the timeline presented by prosecutors. The only thing the State had to go on was Dassey’s clearly coerced confession. It’s a travesty that few to none are talking about Brandon Dassey.

While it is true that Dassey confessed (without a lawyer present), the quiet Dassey, whose IQ puts him near the range for intellectual disability, was clearly cowed by investigators into a fabricated story, in which he helped his uncle first sexually assault Halbach and then murder her.  In the video recorded interrogation, to the reasonable person it’s obvious that it’s the investigators, not Dassey, who are providing the vast majority of the details of the murder. It’s also clear that they simply kept wearing Dassey down taking advantage of his disability until he tells them what they want to hear.

The interrogation of Brandon Dassey is infuriating to watch. It’s also an example why, as I’ve written before, you should never go down to a police station and take questions from an investigator without a lawyer with you. The police often will say they are “trying to help you out” but remember only your attorney advocates on your behalf.

If you have been contacted by the police to come in and answer some questions, you need an experienced and competent criminal defense lawyer. Contact attorney Donna Wagner to schedule a time to discuss your case or situation.

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