Kennedy Relative Skakel Wins New Trial in 1975 Killing
Now 52, he was convicted of murdering a 15-year-old girl
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2013 5:36 PM CDT
Michael Skakel leaves a courtroom in this file photo.   (Jason Rearick)

(Newser) – A judge today granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his teenage neighbor in 1975 with a golf club. The ruling marked a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel, the 52-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy. Skakel is serving 20 years to life. Skakel's current attorney, Hubert Santos, said he expects to file a motion for bail tomorrow. If a judge approves it, Skakel could then post bond and be released from prison.

"We're very, very thrilled," Santos said. Skakel argued his trial attorney, Michael Sherman, was negligent in defending him when he was convicted in the bludgeoning of Martha Moxley when they were 15. Prosecutor Susann Gill said the state's case included three confessions and nearly a dozen incriminating statements by Skakel over the years. She also said there was strong evidence of motive. "His drug-addled mental state, coupled with the infuriating knowledge that his hated brother Tommy had a sexual liaison with Martha, and the fact that Martha spurned his advances, triggered the rage which led him to beat her to death with a golf club," Gill wrote.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
questioneverything
Oct 24, 2013 5:20 AM CDT
By the time all of this is sorted out, he will have served his minimum of 20 years. Either that or he will just die of old age fighting this. Problem with his appeal is that he has on numerous occasions admitted his guilt and even described how he killed her with the golf club. This type of nonsense really casts a negative light on our system.......and I'm one to usually side with the defendant.
newparty
Oct 24, 2013 1:05 AM CDT
Just another of the all too many examples of true American injustice for the victims . The whole justice system needs to be overhauled in favor of justice and equality under the law. overpaid high profile attorneys who seek to outwit the system for money and fame at the expense of putting away criminals are criminals themselves .
RLM357
Oct 24, 2013 12:23 AM CDT
More Proof that Money can buy anything! He is Guilty as SIN.