Brendan Dassey, who was recently the subject of the Netflix hit series The Making of a Murderer, is back in the headlines after his transfer back to the Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) in Portage, Wisconsin.Dassey, 26, is currently serving a life sentence for his role in assisting his uncle Steven Avery in the 2005 murder of 25-year-old Teresa Hailbach in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse, and second-degree sexual assault in 2007.
At the time he was just 17.
Officials believe that Dassey will initially be placed into a segregation unit and single cell before ultimately being transferred to the general, 500-inmate population, according to Wisconsin News. CCI Sargent Faye Hart, meanwhile, said that the prison "probably won't give him any special treatment" despite his quasi-celebrity status due to the popular Netflix program.
Dassey has been transferred to numerous prisons during his young life, Wisconsin News noted, having spent time at the Dodge County reception center (Madison, Wisconsin), CCI, the Dodge Correctional Institution (Madison, Wisconsin), Manitowoc County prison (Manitowoc, Wisconsin), and the Green Bay Correctional Institution (Green Bay, Wisconsin) prior to this most recent transfer back to Columbia.
Wisconsin's state Department of Corrections did not specify a reason for giving Dassey a new home, but did note to Wisconsin News that inmate transfers are "commonplace." It is believed that officials' primary concern is to keep Dassey and Avery - who is serving his life sentence at the Waupun Correctional Institution (Waupun, Wisconsin) - from residing at the same correctional facility.
Not everyone, however, believes that Brendan Dassey is even guilty.
In particular, ABC News anchor Dan Abrams - via his new legal Web site Law Newz - revealed his own personal belief that Dassey's conviction was a "misjustice," that he should have been found innocent of his charges, and, furthermore, that his uncle Avery likely was solely responsible for Hailbach's slaying. In particular, Abrams' argument focuses on the arguments that a puncture hole in the lab vial containing Avery's blood could be seen as evidence of a potential tampering and/or framing, a key argument presented by Netflix.
Despite this, Abrams believes that other evidence from his trial shows that Avery received a "flawed but overall fair trial."
"It is hard not to be moved by that movement. That is, unless you know that those sorts of punctures are at least somewhat common," Abrams noted in his blog, likening Dassey's conviction to the much-publicized O.J. Simpson verdict of 20 years ago. "That sure changes things but the filmmakers either didn't know that or just didn't care to share it with the audience."
Of Dassey's own innocence, Abrams noted the following.
"The interrogation tapes tell the story. It seems obvious that he was 'guessing' on what investigators wanted to hear just as he asserted to his mother. The authorities suggest that he provided details only the killer would know and that had not been disclosed publicly about the crime. Well, maybe they hadn't been disclosed or learned because they never actually happened. Avery is guilty, Dassey not."Abrams went on to note in his report that "Steven Avery has taken not just one life, but two. By maintaining his innocence and refusing to admit his involvement, it precludes him from credibly clearing his nephew."
In addition, an online Change.org petition to free the two men has been posted by an anonymous U.K. user, and has nearly 11,000 supporters.
Of course, The Inquisitr has documented several of these assertions of Dassey's possible innocence in recent months.
Despite these developments calling into question Dassey's actual level of guilt, a spokesperson for Governor Scott Walker told Wisconsin News and other outlets that he has no intention of getting involved in the cases of either Dassey or Avery.
[Image by Sue Pischke/AP Images]