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Judge won't hear bail request for Michael Skakel

VERNON, Conn., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- A Connecticut judge Wednesday lifted the stay on his ruling that Michael Skakel should have a new trial in the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley.

Skakel, 53, was convicted in 2002 of killing Moxley, a teenage neighbor in upscale Greenwich, but Superior Court Judge Thomas Bishop ruled two weeks ago he deserved a new trial based on an ineffective defense from his trial lawyer.

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Bishop Wednesday ruled that the state has 10 days to appeal last month's ruling, but he declined to hear arguments on whether Skakel should be granted bail while awaiting the new trial. He said he was not certain if his court had the authority to grant bail to a convicted killer until the appeal process was completed.

Skakel is the nephew of the late Robert and Ethel Skakel Kennedy.

Skakel's attorney, Hubert Santos, told the Hartford (Conn.) Courant that he expected the state to appeal Bishop's ruling, which would delay both the next trial and a decision on bail. "We are not going to get much from the appellate court for at least two weeks and maybe two months," said Santos.

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