Teen sticks to story in interview 
from Manitowoc jail

April 30, 2007


Brendan Dassey walks to the courthouse to hear the verdict in his case Wednesday night in Manitowoc . A jury found Dassey guilty of raping a 25-year-old freelance photographer, Teresa Halbach, and helping his uncle kill her and burn her body.

APPLETON - Days after being convicted of helping his uncle murder a woman, 17-year-old Brendan Dassey stuck to his story in an interview Saturday.

He told The Post-Crescent in a telephone interview from Manitowoc County Jail that he never saw body parts in a bonfire at the home of his uncle, Steven Avery, and he insisted he made up the detailed account of the killing of Teresa Halbach that he gave to investigators in interviews months after the Halloween 2005 murder.

"They just kept like asking the questions over and over until they got the answer" they wanted, he said. "I was at the fire but I didnt see any bones or anything."

A videotaped interview was played at his trial in Manitowoc County Circuit Court. He then testified he lied to investigators and took some of the details from a book he read several years ago.




The nine-day trial ended when the jury deliberated only 4½ hours before finding him guilty as charged Wednesday night.

Dassey and Avery, 44, who was convicted last month, face mandatory life terms when sentenced for first-degree intentional homicide and other charges.

Halbach, 25, a photographer from St. John in Calumet County, had gone to the Avery family's auto salvage yard near Mishicot on an assignment to take pictures of a vehicle for sale. Relatives searching for her later found her vehicle partially concealed in the salvage yard, and investigators found her charred bone fragments in a burn pit near Avery's home.

Timeline in the Teresa Halbach murder case


Oct. 31 - Teresa Halbach, 25, of St. John in Calumet County, a photographer for Auto Trader Magazine, goes to Avery's Auto Salvage near Mishicot to photograph a minivan for sale by Steven Avery's sister.

Nov. 3 - Halbach's family reports her missing.

Nov. 5 - Halbach's cousins find her vehicle under brush and auto parts in the Avery salvage yard.

Nov. 8 - Avery tells reporters he fears authorities are trying to frame for Halbach's murder because he sued Manitowoc County officials for $36 million for wrongful conviction. Avery was freed from prison in 2003 after DNA evidence cleared him of a 1985 rape for which he served 18 years.

Nov. 9 - Avery is arrested and, based on past convictions for burglary and other crimes, charged with possessing firearms as a felon. Authorities say two guns were in his trailer home.

Nov. 15 - Avery is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and mutilating a corpse.


Feb. 14 - Authorities announce Avery has settled his lawsuit against Manitowoc County officials for $400,000.

March 2 - Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey, then 16, is charged in adult court with being a party to first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and first-degree sexual assault. Prosecutors base the charges on a videotaped statement in which Dassey detailed the killing.

Sept. 25 - A judge says Avery's past crimes cannot be used as evidence when he goes on trial. Court records and police say Avery's criminal history includes burglary, animal abuse and the attempted abduction of a Mishicot woman in 1984.


Jan. 29 - A judge dismisses sexual assault and kidnapping charges against Avery because Dassey may not testify at his trial.

Jan. 30 - A judge says defense attorneys can tell jurors that Avery was wrongfully convicted of rape and may use as evidence a vial of his blood found unsecured in the Manitowoc County courthouse. Defense attorneys say discovery of the vial supports their claim that blood was planted to frame Avery.

Feb. 12 - Avery's trial begins.

March 12 - After the prosecution and defense rest, the judge dismisses a false-imprisonment charge, saying he doesn't think the jury has enough evidence to find Avery guilty. Avery has not taken the witness stand. Dassey, who recanted his confession, also does not testify in Avery's trial.

March 18 - After deliberating for nearly 22 hours over three days, jurors convict Avery, now 44, of first-degree intentional homicide and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Avery is acquitted of the charge of mutilating a corpse.

April 16 - Dassey, now 17, goes on trial.

April 20 - Prosecutors play Dassey's videotaped confession for the jury.

April 23 - Dassey testifies in his own defense, saying he lied when he gave the statement but doesn't know why. Avery does not testify at Dassey's trial.

April 25 - After 4- hours of deliberation, the jury, which was selected in Dane County, convicts Dassey of being party to first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and second-degree sexual assault.


Associated Press

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