After Brendan Dassey’s murder conviction was overturned earlier this month, his former defense attorney, Len Kachinsky, received numerous negative messages on social media. He’s now fighting back, claiming he did the best job he could for Dassey, and that his decisions played a part in getting the conviction reversed.
TheHerald Times Reporter reports that Kachinsky, now 63 and a municipal judge, has been the victim of a new round of online bullying since Making a Murderer‘s Dassey got his murder conviction overturned by a federal judge. Dassey was serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of 25-year-old freelance photographer Teresa Halbach, who was last seen on Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery’s, property. Dassey is still in prison, awaiting to see whether the prosecution will appeal the overturned conviction.
The majority of Kachinsky’s bullies stem from Twitter, where he’s been called a weasel, scumbag, moron, knob, liar, and a slew of profanities. Some people even sent letters to where Kachinsky served as a municipal judge, the Village of Fox Crossing, in Menasha, Wisconsin.
The majority of letters condemned Kachinsky for the way he handled Dassey’s case. The docu-series Making a Murderer depicts Kachinsky as a defense attorney who seemed to think Dassey was guilty, and in turn, pushed him to take a plea deal.
To make matters worse for the former attorney, Federal Magistrate William Duffin, who recently overturned Dassey’s conviction, noted Katchinsky’s actions while he represented Dassey as “inexcusable both tactically and ethically.”
Kachinksy, however, stated that it doesn’t bother him to be the victim of bullying. He indicated that the new round of criticism isn’t nearly as bad as what happened after Making a Murderer premiered on Netflix last December.
“It’s nothing like what happened after the release of (‘Making a Murderer’). I’m not surprised at these harsh words. It’s a lot less than some of the earlier stuff on Twitter.”
He also admits that he made a mistake by not being present when Dassey was interrogated by detectives, but he quickly added that it paved the way for Dassey’s overturned conviction. Since Dassey had no representation while being questioned by investigators, Duffin ruled the confession be thrown out due to “deceptive interrogation tactics that overbore Dassey’s free will.” Kachinsky also added that people who’re bashing are only interested in “character assassination.”
“I thought it was the best rationale he [Duffy] could come up with. Basically, the denial of the motion to suppress … made the federal ruling possible. We look to preserve (appeal issues). I did my job and all of these critics are mostly interested in character assassination.”
Despite the name-calling and “character assassination,” Kachinsky has no regrets about taking on Dassey’s case. His only regret is that a trial judge removed him from the case after he didn’t show up to one of Dassey’s hearings. While reflecting on his absence from the hearing, the former lawyer told The Guardian,
“I should’ve been there. It wasn’t a big conspiracy to help out the state. I had army duty the next Saturday and they wanted to do it on Saturday to get it done.”
Kachinsky also touched on the rumors that he left his private law practice due to criticism surrounding the Dassey case. He said he was battling leukemia which required a bone marrow transplant and some invasive treatments.
Regardless of harsh criticism, Kachinsky said he plans to continue as a municipal judge. He volunteers at a local animal shelter in his spare time.
Meanwhile, Dassey currently remains behind bars in a Wisconsin prison. The state has 90 days from the day of the overturned conviction to file an appeal. If tried again, Brendan Dassey could remain in prison for around three more years, while awaiting a time slot in the backed-up courts.
[Photo by AP/Dan Powers, Pool]