Martha Moxley Murder Suspect, a Kennedy Cousin, Gets New Trial

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 07:04 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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An attorney for Michael Skakel, a Kennedy family cousin imprisoned since 2002 for the murder of teen Martha Moxley in the 1975, asked for bail Thursday after Skakel won the right for a new trial.

Connecticut Appellate Judge Thomas Bishop ordered a new trial for Skakel Wednesday, agreeing with Skakel's new attorney Hubert Santos that his original lawyer Michael "Mickey" Sherman offered an ineffective defense, wrote the Hartford Courant.

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Skakel, 52, is roughly halfway through a 20-years-to-life prison sentence for Moxley's murder.

Bishop wrote in his ruling, according to the Courant, that Sherman "was in a myriad of ways ineffective. The defense of a serious felony prosecution requires attention to detail, an energetic investigation and a coherent plan of defense capably executed. Trial counsel's failures in each of these areas of representation were significant and, ultimately, fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense."

Skakel is the nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, and was 15 when Moxley, also 15, was murdered with a golf club while they lived in Greenwich, Conn., wrote USA Today.

Prosecutors have argued that Skakel made several incriminating statements which led to his conviction. USA Today stated that prosecutors believe that Sherman's defense exceeded standards.

The New York Daily News wrote that jurors were allowed to listen to an audiotape Skakel made in 1997 where he undermined his alibi that he was at a cousin’s house when Moxley was killed.

Dorothy Moxley, Martha Moxley's mother, told CNN's Piers Morgan Wednesday that the ruling did not change her view of the circumstance surrounding her daughter's death.

"Well, first of all, there's not a way they can erase what was said during the first trial," Dorothy Moxley said on "Piers Morgan Live." "What was said at the first trial is still in evidence. I'm sure. So, you know, I have not given up.

"I do believe Michael Skakel killed my daughter. I don't believe there's any doubt in that. He convicted himself practically. And there has been absolutely no new evidence that means anything since the trial. So I am not concerned. If there is a new trial, I will be there," she continued.

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Related stories:

Robert Kennedy Jr. Slams Left, Right in Personal Diary

RFK Jr: JFK Probe 'Shoddy,' Doesn't Believe Lone Gunman Theory

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