‘Making a Murderer’ Nephew fighting for release from prison



“Making a Murderer” was one of Netflix’s biggest hits in 2016.  The documentary series told the tragic story of Steven Avery’s involvement in two controversial cases.

The first was a 1985 arrest where Avery was accused of assaulting a woman named Penny Ann Beerntsen while jogging alone on a trail. According to stevenaverytrial.com he wasn’t given a phone call or access to an attorney.  

Avery was sentenced to 32 years in prison.

Avery was released from prison on Sept. 11, 2003 after DNA excluded Avery from the assault in 1985 and matched another man, Gregory Allen.

Avery spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The second and most recent case involved Avery again and his 16-year old nephew Brendan Dassey.

In 2005, Dassey admitted to helping his uncle murder a photographer named Teresa Halbach where her remains were found around Avery’s property.  

According to cnn.com, Avery was found guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of early release.  Dassey was also found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of early release.

On Nov. 14 “U.S. District Judge William E. Duffin ordered Dassey be released from prison on his own recognizance pending the appeal of his 2007 murder conviction,” according to cnn.com.

“I’m happy about this because I saw the series and the way the police were handling the case was wrong, the investigators were obviously pushing him until they heard what they wanted to hear,” said James Snyder, a Stockton resident.  “From watching the series you can tell the investigators were taking advantage of him because he was not the smartest kid.”

Dassey was supposed to be released from prison until a federal appeals court blocked his release on Nov. 17 according to cnn.com.

“This story has so many layers because first the nephew was going to be released and now they are not allowing it,” said Benjamin Evans, a Delta college student.  “I hope this can be solved soon because from what I’ve seen on the documentary both the uncle and nephew don’t belong in prison.”

Only time will tell whether Avery or Dassey will ever be free.

Netflix is working on episodes that will continue from Season 1. “Making a Murderer” is currently on Netflix.