Attorneys for the state of Wisconsin scored a small victory Wednesday. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion by attorneys for "Making a Murderer" star Brendan Dassey seeking their client's release from prison while the state's Department of Justice decides its next move in the high-profile case. Last week, a three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit reaffirmed an August 2016 decision by a federal judge that Dassey's confession to helping his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and murder Teresa Halbach in 2005 was obtained through coercion.

90 days to retry Dassey or release him

Last summer, U.S.

Magistrate Judge William Duffin tossed Dassey's conviction, ruling that police had manipulated the then-16-year-old into giving a statement that implicated himself, as well as Avery, in the Halloween 2005 crime. The state appealed that ruling in September. In November, Duffin ordered Dassey to be released while the case worked its way through the courts. However, the state's attorney general filed a successful emergency stay of that order.

After last week's ruling, Dassey's attorney's filed a motion to have him released.

Citing the November order, as well as the court's 2-1 ruling in Dassey's favor, Laura Nirider asked that the federal court lift the stay of the previous order and release Dassey immediately. In their response, the state contended that releasing Dassey before the case is resolved "would harm public interest," adding that his conviction established "his dangerousness to the public."

While the 7th Circuit denied the defense's motion, they did set a 90-day timetable for the state to take action or release Brendan Dassey.

No confession, no crime?

At the point, the state of Wisconsin has four options on how to proceed with its case against Brendan Dassey. The state can appeal to the full 7th Circuit Court or the U.S. Supreme Court, retry Dassey, offer him a plea deal, or release Dassey.

With his confession thrown out, Nirider said that prosecutors would have a hard time securing a victory in a retrial. Speaking to USA Today after last August's ruling, Nirider pointed out that the case against Brendan Dassey hung largely on his confession. Nirider said there's no forensic evidence tying Dassey to the crime.

"There's no blood. There's no DNA. There's no eyewitnesses, nothing like that," she said, adding that "it's hard to imagine how the state would proceed with a retrial because literally they wouldn't have evidence that they could use against Brendan."

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has indicated that it plans to ask the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to review the case against Brendan Dassey.

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