facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Ethel Kennedy's nephew wins new trial for 1975 killing

Oct. 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM   |   Comments

HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A Connecticut judge Wednesday ordered a new trial for Kennedy relative Michael Skakel, ruling the lawyer who defended him in 2002 was ineffective.

Skakel, 52, nephew of Robert Kennedy's wife, Ethel, was sentenced to 20 years to life for killing Martha Moxley, a neighbor in Greenwich, Conn., in 1975 when they were both 15. Hubert Santos, a member of his current legal team, told the Hartford Courant he plans to ask for Skakel's release on bail pending a new trial.

"It's been 11 years in the making," Santos said of Judge Thomas Bishop's decision.

Bishop, in a 135-page opinion, described Skakel's trial lawyer, Michael "Mickey" Sherman, as "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," the judge wrote. "Trial counsel's failures in each of these areas of representation were significant and, ultimately, fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense."

If Bishop's ruling is upheld on appeal, the state will have the choice of releasing or retrying Skakel.

Skakel's trial, more than a quarter century after the crime, would have been sensational without the Kennedy connection. Moxley was killed with a golf club in the wealthy Greenwich neighborhood where her family and the Skakels lived.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Poll: Voters don't like Republicans but will vote for them Poll: Voters don't like Republicans but will vote for them
2
Texas woman set for execution for starving girlfriend's son Texas woman set for execution for starving girlfriend's son
3
Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014 Playboy Magazine names UPenn top party school for 2014
4
Occupy Wall Street celebrates 3-year anniversary by forgiving $4 million of student debt Occupy Wall Street celebrates 3-year anniversary by forgiving $4 million of student debt
5
Light 4.0 earthquake shakes Seattle area Light 4.0 earthquake shakes Seattle area
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback