It's certain that Brendan Dassey will be sentenced to mandatory life in prison this week for his role in the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach.
But less certain is whether the teen will be eligible for parole.
Manitowoc County Circuit Judge Jerome Fox must decide that this week. The judge will decide whether the 17-year-old would have killed again if he hadn't been caught, or if the teenis socially inept and susceptible to the suggestions of his uncle, Steven Avery, who was also convicted of killing Halbach.
Dassey will be sentenced Thursday. Halbach, 25, was killed Oct. 31, 2005. She was a freelance photographer from Calumet County who came to the family's home, near Mishicot, and salvage lot to take pictures of cars for sale.
Halbach's brother Mike would not say what the family will recommend to Fox. But he said Dassey must be held accountable.
A Dane County jury deliberated for fewer than four hours in April before convicting Dassey of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse.
His uncle was sentenced to life in prison with no parole eligibility after a separate trial before Manitowoc County Circuit Judge Patrick Willis and a county jury last spring. Avery's conviction garnered headlines because it came 3 1/2years after his release from prison for a rape later proved he did not commit.
Willis called Avery "the most dangerous individual who ever stepped foot in this courtroom."
But that sentiment isn't so clear when it comes to Dassey, who had no criminal history and took special education classes as a sophomore at Mishicot High School. The defense argued Dassey was influenced by investigators when questioned about Halbach, but he only said "I don't know" when asked at trial why he gave incriminating statements.