A federal judge on Wednesday granted a nephew of Robert Kennedy a retrial in the murder almost 40 years ago of his teenage neighbor Martha Moxley.
The dramatic ruling comes after Michael Skakel, 53, appealed unsuccessfully for years against his sentence.
He was convicted in 2002 of beating Moxley, 15, to death in Greenwich, Conn., in 1975 when he was also 15. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
The office of his attorney, Hubert Santos, said it was now looking to file a motion for Skakel's bail.
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Connecticut state court Judge Thomas Bishop accepted arguments from Santos that Skakel had been inadequately represented at trial by his then-attorney Michael Sherman.
"The judgment of conviction is set aside and the matter referred back to the Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District for retrial," said a copy of the 136-page ruling, as published on the website of the local newspaper The Courant.
Moxley was battered to death with a golf club later traced to a set once owned by Skakel's late mother.
Moxley's body was discovered under a tree on her family's Belle Haven estate. There were no witnesses to the murder and no hard forensic evidence.
The prosecution's case was based largely on the testimony of people who said they heard Skakel confess and brag that his Kennedy connections would prevent him from being brought to justice.
© AFP 2013