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Making a Murderer: Brendan Dassey’s Family Is ‘Grateful, in Shock’ After Conviction Overturned, Lawyer Says

An emotional day. After news broke that Brendan Dassey’s conviction was overturned on Friday, August 12, the Making a Murderer subject’s lawyer spoke out on behalf of his overjoyed family.

“This is right, this is justice,” Laura Nirider told ABC News on Friday night. “We are over the moon. We were notified by email and I read this decision on my phone … 91 pages, unbelievable.”

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The attorney, who says she was in tears after finding out Dassey’s conviction was overturned, added that she has since been in contact with her client’s family and that they are “grateful, in shock, trying to process this.”

Brendan Dassey
Brendan Dassey is escorted into court for his sentencing on Aug. 2, 2007, in Manitowoc, WI.

Dassey, now 26, was sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of helping his uncle, Steven Avery, murder freelance photographer Teresa Halbach more than a decade ago. The murder, trial and its aftermath were documented in the hit Netflix series Making a Murderer, which premiered in December 2015 and was produced by filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi.

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“Today there was a major development for the subjects in our story and this recent news shows the criminal justice system at work,” the filmmakers said in a statement on Friday. “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.”

The U.S. District Court in Milwaukee ordered Dassey to be freed from Columbia Correctional Institute in Portage, Wisconsin, in the next 90 days, unless the case is appealed.

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As Making a Murderer fans know, Dassey’s attorneys argued in the docuseries that their client, who was 16 at the time of Halbach’s murder, was coerced by the Manitowoc County Police Department to confess because he didn’t have a lawyer present when they questioned him.

Avery was tried and convicted in a separate trial. He is currently serving life in prison without parole. Avery, who has continued to appeal the decision, has repeatedly claimed that police planted evidence against him.

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