June 25 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday not to hear the appeal of a man whose murder conviction was featured in the popular Netflix series Making a Murderer.
The documentary series examined the case of 16-year-old Brendan Dassey, who said he was coerced into confessing he helped his uncle rape and murder Teresa Halbach in 2005 in Wisconsin, and then dispose of her body.
A jury convicted Dassey based on his statements to two sheriff’s office investigators, though no physical evidence linked him to the crimes.
The Supreme Court did not give a reason Monday for refusing to hear the appeal.
Dassey’s attorney, Laura Nirider, said her defense team would continue fighting.
“Brendan was a 16-year-old with intellectual and social disabilities when he confessed to a crime he did not commit,” Nirider said. “The video of Brendan’s interrogation shows a confused boy who was manipulated by experienced police officers into accepting their story of how the murder of Teresa Halbach happened.”
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel praised the decision.
“We hope the family and friends of Ms. Halbach can find comfort in knowing this ordeal has finally come to a close,” he said.
Dassey’s lawyers say the teenager had a borderline intellectual disability that investigators abused.
“The interrogators fed him the ‘right’ answers, assuring him that he would be ‘set … free’ if only he confirmed what they said,” Nirider said.
Prosecutors say he confessed to the woman’s rape with no prompting.
“The only plausible source for his admissions was his guilty conscience,” Wisconsin Solicitor General Misha Tseytlin said.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago upheld Dassey’s conviction, finding he’d freely spoken about incriminating details of the case after lower courts found his confession involuntary.