Michael Skakel, Kennedy Cousin, Will Not Face 2nd Homicide Trial
The case was tabloid fodder and its legal twists and turns transfixed a lot of the nation. In 1975, a 15-year-old lady was discovered slain in an prosperous Connecticut suburb, bludgeoned to loss of life with a golf membership. Michael C. Skakel, a neighbor and a cousin of the Kennedys, was in the end charged and located responsible of homicide, however his conviction was overturned by the state’s highest court docket.
On Friday, prosecutors introduced that Mr. Skakel, 60, wouldn’t face a second trial, successfully ending a long fought, notorious case that reached all the best way to the Supreme Courtroom.
Proving the guilt of Mr. Skakel, who was convicted within the killing of Martha Moxley in 2002, could be unimaginable as a result of lots of the key witnesses within the case had died, prosecutors stated. In keeping with media reports, Mr. Skakel and his lawyer didn’t remark at Superior Courtroom in Stamford, Conn., the place prosecutors introduced their resolution.
The announcement got here precisely 45 years to the day Ms. Moxley was killed in Greenwich, her physique found beneath a pine tree on her household’s property. She had been hit so exhausting with a golf membership that it broke. A chunk of the shaft had been used to stab her within the neck.
Mr. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, was 15 and lived in the identical gated group as Ms. Moxley. Mr. Skakel answered the door the morning after Ms. Moxley disappeared when her mom, Dorthy Moxley, knocked whereas looking for her daughter.
The golf membership used to kill Ms. Moxley, a metal 6-iron, got here from a set that belonged to Mr. Skakel’s mom. However investigators didn’t discover blood, fingerprints or different bodily proof connecting Mr. Skakel to the homicide. He claimed that he was watching tv at a cousin’s home miles away from the scene of the homicide when Ms. Moxley was killed.
Due to the dearth of bodily proof it took 25 years for investigators to cost Mr. Skakel. He was discovered responsible after a three-week trial.
After Mr. Skakel’s conviction in 2002, a number of jurors stated his incriminating phrases and habits had satisfied them of his guilt. They stated that in a taped dialog, he had modified his account of his location through the killing. Additionally they believed that family and buddies had lined up for him.
The attorneys who appealed Mr. Skakel’s conviction maintained that their consumer had obtained poor illustration. They stated that his lawyer had failed to analyze a witness who may have confirmed that Mr. Skakel was removed from the Moxley household’s house on the time of the homicide and that his older brother, Thomas Skakel, had most likely dedicated the crime.
The case led to years of investigation, Hollywood therapies and several other books. One of them was written by Mr. Skakel’s cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a former prosecutor and environmental lawyer who offered alternate explanations for the killing and detailed what he charged was a flawed police investigation and prosecutorial misconduct.
“I feel Michael may be very completely happy as we speak,” Mr. Kennedy stated in a phone interview on Friday.
Two years in the past Connecticut’s highest court docket, agreeing with Mr. Skakel’s argument, vacated his conviction in a 4-3 ruling, citing shortcomings in his protection.
Within the majority opinion, Connecticut Supreme Courtroom Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote that Mr. Skakel’s conviction was based on a case “devoid of any forensic proof or eyewitness testimony linking the petitioner to the crime.”
However Justice Carmen E. Espinosa wrote a blistering dissent, pointing to Mr. Skakel’s “monetary sources, social standing, ethnicity or connections to a political dynasty,” and the movie star and notoriety surrounding his case, as doable contributing elements to the court docket’s resolution.
Final 12 months, america Supreme Courtroom rejected prosecutors’ attempts to revive the case. The prosecutor’s resolution on Friday basically concludes any makes an attempt to additional prosecute Mr. Skakel.
Mr. Kennedy, in Friday’s cellphone interview, stated that “we’d have made a mockery of them” if prosecutors had retried the case.
Ms. Moxley’s mom, Dorthy Moxley, stated she had spoken with prosecutors and knew that the state wouldn’t pursue one other trial.
“We’ll always remember Martha, and I’d suppose Michael may be very regretful,” Ms. Moxley stated.