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Kennedy Cousin Granted Bail

Michael Skakel expected to be released shortly
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2013 11:47 AM CST

(Newser) – The Kennedy cousin convicted of murdering his neighbor in 1975 will soon be free on bail. Michael Skakel was granted bail of $1.2 million today, and he was expected to be freed shortly, the AP reports. He'll have to stay in Connecticut and wear a GPS tracker, the judge ruled. Skakel, nephew to Ethel Kennedy, was granted a new trial last month after a judge ruled his lawyer in the original trial did not represent him adequately. "Everybody in my family knows that Michael is innocent," said Robert Kennedy Jr. this week. "The only crime that he committed was having a bad lawyer."

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Specifically, the judge said Skakel's attorney did not locate a witness who confirmed Skakel's alibi for the night of the murder, and also failed to locate a man who challenged the claim of a star witness that Skakel had confessed to the crime. The judge also said the defense team should have focused more on Skakel's older brother, Thomas, an early suspect and the last person to have been seen with victim Martha Moxley. Moxley's family was in attendance for the bail hearing; her mother said this week she is convinced Skakel killed her daughter and "he ought to serve his punishment." (Read more Michael Skakel stories.)

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