Kennedy Cousin Michael Skakel’s Conviction For Murder Of Martha Moxley Overturned
The Connecticut Supreme Court has overturned Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel‘s murder conviction.
Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, was convicted of murder in 2002 for the death of Martha Moxley in 1975. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison but went free on a $1.2 million bail after serving 11 years when court overturned his conviction in 2013. Courts later reinstated his conviction in 2016 after courts ordered a new trial due errors by his previous lawyer.
The case drew attention because of the Kennedy name, Skakel’s family wealth and the theories surrounding Moxley’s murder. The murder took place at the exclusive Bell Haven section of Greenwich, where Martha and Skakel were neighbors. Prosecutors alleged that Skakel was angry at Moxely for not returning his feelings for her and having sexual interactions with his brother Tommy.
Skakel’s appeal lawyer, Hubert Santos asked the court to reconsider the 2016 ruling. The court issued a 4-3 ruling that Skakel’s previous attorney failed to present evidence of an alibi. Santos argued that the lwyer made mistakes such as not focusing on Skakel’s brother as a possible suspect and not contacting an alibi witness. Santos said Skakel was miles away from the crime scene in 1975 and was watching a Monty Python movie with friends when Moxley was brutally murdered. Santos also stated there was no physical evidence or eye witnesses linking him to the murder.
“We’re elated that our argument was vindicated,” Santos said. “It was a good decision because it was spot on the law.”
Motley’s brother John told reporters that he was disappointed with the ruling and didn’t know what should happen next. “I don’t know what the next steps are. My mom is getting older. I just don’t think she has the strength to go on with this,” he said. Even though Skakel is free John disagrees. “He’ll be in jail for the rest of his life,” John said. “He may not be physically in jail. He may be walking the streets, but he’ll be in hell at some point.”