Martha Elizabeth Moxley (August
16, 1960 – October 30, 1975) was a fifteen-year-old
murder victim in a case that attracted worldwide
Born in San Francisco, California,
Moxley and her family moved to Belle Haven, an exclusive
section of Greenwich, Connecticut, in the summer of
Just 15 months later, on the evening
of October 30, 1975, Moxley left with friends to attend
a Halloween party at the Skakel home, one block away.
She reportedly had crushes on both Michael and Thomas
Skakel (nephews of Ethel Skakel Kennedy), and both boys
often fought over the girl.
According to friends, Moxley began
flirting with and eventually kissing Thomas Skakel.
Moxley was last seen "falling together behind the fence"
near the pool in the Skakel backyard at around 9:30 p.m.
The next day, Moxley's body was found
underneath a tree in her family's backyard. Her pants
and underwear were pulled down, but she had not been
sexually assaulted. Pieces of a broken six-iron golf
club were found near the body. An autopsy indicated she
had been both bludgeoned and stabbed with the club,
which was traced back to the Skakel home.
Thomas Skakel was the last person to
be seen with Moxley the night of the murder, and had a
weak alibi. Thomas Skakel became the prime suspect, but
his father forbade access to his school and mental
health records, and the case languished for decades. In
the meantime, several books were published about the
crime, including Timothy Dumas's A Wealth of Evil,
and a novel, A Season In Purgatory, by Dominick
Dunne, based on the Moxley case.
Martha Moxley was interred at Putnam
Cemetery in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Over the years, both Thomas Skakel
and Michael Skakel significantly changed their alibis
for the night of Moxley's murder. Michael Skakel claimed
that he had been window-peeping and masturbating in a
tree beside the Moxley property from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30
Two former students of a drug rehab
center, which Michael Skakel attended in 1978, testified
that they heard Skakel confess to killing Moxley with a
golf club after she refused to have sexual intercourse
with him. He then bragged, "I'm going to get away with
murder. I'm a Kennedy."
The case of Moxley's murder remained
"cold" until 2000 after Mark Fuhrman released his book,
"Murder in Greenwich," investigating the crime.
Following a lengthy grand jury investigation, Michael
Skakel was indicted for her murder. On June 7, 2002, a
jury in Norwalk, Connecticut, convicted Michael Skakel
in the murder of Martha Moxley. Subsequently, he was
sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
After trial, Skakel appealed to the
Connecticut Supreme Court, but the Court affirmed his
conviction. Subsequently, he sought a writ of certiorari
in the Supreme Court of the United States, which was
Attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.,
Skakel's cousin, wrote an article that was published in
The Atlantic Monthly in January of 2003 entitled
"A Miscarriage of Justice," arguing that there was more
evidence suggesting other suspects were guilty than
there was against Skakel. Partly based on Kennedy's new
evidence, Skakel has begun the post-conviction relief
process, filing a habeas corpus petition and motion for
new trial in Connecticut trial court. A hearing is
scheduled for late April of 2007.
Actress Maggie Grace played Moxley in
the made-for-TV movie Murder in Greenwich.
Exclusive: Ghosts Of Greenwich
48 Hours: RFK Jr. Speaks Out
On Moxley Murder Case
Sept. 10, 2003
a 48 Hours Investigates exclusive
interview, Robert Kennedy Jr. talks about new clues and
possible new suspects in the Martha Moxley murder.
shares new details about two young men who were
allegedly in the gated Belle Haven community in
Greenwich, Conn., the night of Moxley's murder.
tells Correspondent Lesley Stahl how he
personally elicited details of their possible
involvement from Tony Bryant, cousin of NBA player Kobe
48 Hours Investigates is investigating the
developments of the last few days that supporters hope
will prove that Michael Skakel is an innocent man. This
case was last updated in April.
spring of 2002, and the end of a trial that Dorthy
Moxley had been waiting and praying for, for nearly 30
prayers were finally answered after four days of
deliberations, 27 years after the murder of her daughter
Moxleys, it was the end of a long ordeal. “You know,
this is Martha's day,” says Dorthy Moxley. “This is
truly Martha's day."
is no doubt in her mind that Skakel committed this crime.
But for the family of convicted murderer Michael Skakel,
it was the lowest moment in their long ordeal.
this trial has felt like a witch hunt," says David
Skakel, Michael’s brother. “For our family, grieving has
coincided with accusation. Michael is innocent.”
there is no way on earth he could have done this,” says
younger brother, Stephen Skakel. “And I will fight with
the last breath in me to get him free.”
April, three members of the Skakel family -- Stephen and
his brothers John and David -- spoke publicly about
their brother, Michael. With Michael’s appeal scheduled
for this fall, his brothers decided to go public.
will never forget the moment the jury returned its
verdict against his brother. "I looked down at the floor,
and you know, my whole world had been shattered,” he
brother Michael's been stolen from us,” adds David.
innocent,” says John. “I know that."
they are not alone in their conviction. Robert Kennedy
Jr., Michael’s cousin, has also been speaking out in his
you know people are going to dismiss that and say, 'Well,
of course he's defending his cousin,'" says Kennedy. "But
the facts speak for themselves ... I'm utterly convinced
that he did not do the crime."
Kennedy, a former prosecutor and now a professor of law
at Pace University, spent several months re-examining
the conviction of his cousin. Since his findings were
published last February in The Atlantic Monthly, Kennedy
says he has received hundreds of letters about the case.
treated all these things with a lot of skepticism," he
when a letter from a former classmate of Michael Skakel
named Crawford Mills arrived, Kennedy was intrigued: "Crawford
told me that Tony had information about the murder of
Tony Bryant, cousin of basketball star Kobe Bryant - who
is facing charges of rape. He claims that two of his
childhood friends boasted about committing the murder.
went up to Greenwich on several occasions with Tony.
That one of them ... became obsessed with Martha Moxley,"
based on this new information, Skakel's defense attorney
says she plans to file for a new trial.
Skakels, it's almost ironic that a Kennedy has come to
their brother's defense. But they believe it was the
"Kennedy connection" that put them in the spotlight to
miniseries, “Murder in Greenwich,” is just the latest in
a parade of books, articles and TV dramatizations about
Martha Moxley’s murder - led by writer Dominick Dunne
and disgraced policeman-turned-writer Mark Fuhrman.
Michael first emerged as a suspect, both Dunne and
Fuhrman referred to him as a Kennedy cousin. “I think
you have a lot of problems with lots of power and money
and politics,” says Fuhrman.
Skakel brothers are the nephews of Ethel Skakel Kennedy,
who married Robert Kennedy in 1950.
Skakel family were as powerful and as rich as the
Kennedys,” says Dunne. But the Skakel brothers disagree
with that statement.
Dunne calls us all a bunch of rich snobs,” says Stephen.
“But he was the only one that I saw coming to court
every day in a limousine."
comments are coming from people who don’t know us, and
who have never even quizzed us on our lives or asked us
or really seen us for who we are,” adds David.
brothers say they live modest lives. Stephen has worked
for a humanitarian aid group for 11 years. David works
as a county recycling manager. And John sells insurance.
once upon a time, the Skakels were millionaires, living
a life of wealth and privilege. Their father, Rushton
Skakel, had inherited a fortune from the family mining
a different time back then, a whole different life,"
years ago, the family lived in the exclusive Belle Haven
section of Greenwich, Conn.
a fairly well-to-do area,” remembers Stephen. “It was a
very friendly, open neighborhood. There were lots of
children. It was a wonderful place to grow up."
cast a shadow over those happy times for this family of
six boys and a girl when they lost their mother to
remember my father said, 'Your mother has died. If you
want to go to your room and cry, that’s fine.' And it
was never discussed again,” says Stephen. “He was just
as traumatized as we were.”
to cope with raising seven children on his own, Rushton
hired a nanny, and then, in October 1975, a live-in
tutor named Ken Littleton. Littleton was a football
coach and, as Stephen remembers, “pretty much a loner.”
after Littleton took up residence in the Skakel home,
Martha Moxley, the Skakel's pretty next-door neighbor,
was found murdered.
Moxley was murdered at the age of 15. Len Levitt, a
reporter for New York Newsday, has spent nearly twice as
many years investigating her murder.
became an old man doing this case," says Levitt. "My
kids weren't even born when I started this. They are 18
and 20 years old at this point."
is now writing a book on the case he began following
after Martha’s death on Oct. 30, 1975 – the night before
does not return home and her mother, obviously, is
concerned,” remembers Levitt. “And she starts making
calls at about 1 a.m. that night. The police now are
called that morning by Mrs. Moxley and they start
was found the next day, beaten to death with a golf
club. In fact, she was so severely beaten that the golf
club is shattered into four pieces.
was the first clue the police had to go on.
turned out that the day the body was found, police found
a golf club that matched the murder weapon inside the
Skakel home,” says Levitt. But at the time, he says it
wasn’t enough to arouse their suspicions.
investigation began by establishing the likely time of
Martha’s death. To do this, Greenwich police consulted
forensic expert Dr. Michael Baden.
our opinion that the time of death, based only on
stomach contents, was somewhere between 9:30 and 10
o'clock," says Baden.
police then established who had been with Martha that
night. According to Levitt, Martha arrived at the Skakel
house around 9 p.m. with some friends. She got into the
Skakels' Lincoln, which was parked in the driveway, and
sat between Michael and his older brother, Tommy. A
short time later, the Skakels say, Martha got out of the
car with Tommy, while Michael and a few others drove off.
9:15 p.m., Michael went with his older brothers (Rushton
Jr., John and his cousin, Jimmy Terrian) back to
Terrian's house. During the time of Martha’s murder,
John Skakel remembers being at the Terrians' house, and
watching the U.S. premiere of “Monty Python’s Flying
p.m., Michael was eight miles away with myself, my
brother Rushie and Jimmy Terrian,” says John.
Meanwhile, back at the Skakel home, what goes on between
Martha and Tommy is sort of playful - pushing back and
forth with sexual overtones. Her friends are so
embarrassed they leave.
tells the police that he last sees Martha at 9.30 p.m.
that night when she leaves to go home. But Martha never
makes it home.
is seen shortly after 10 p.m. with the tutor, Littleton,
who is unpacking and watching “The French Connection” on
Everyone the Greenwich police interviewed, everyone who
saw Martha that night had an alibi. In fact, Michael
Skakel’s alibi was so strong, he was not considered a
weeks passed before investigators turned their attention
to the person they believed was the last to see Martha
alive: Tommy Skakel. After his last meeting with Martha,
Tommy said he went inside to write a paper on Abraham
Lincoln. The police later found out that no teacher at
Tommy’s school had ever assigned the paper. By late fall,
according to Levitt, they were “focusing on Tommy with a
shock and disbelief,” remembers Stephen. “He said he
didn’t do it. And I know he didn’t do it.”
Skakel lived under a cloud of suspicion for years. Now
married with children, he is the only family member who
refused to talk with 48 Hours. In the end,
police never charged him, partly because of his alibi
problem with Tommy as a murder suspect is that if this
happened at 10 o'clock, Tommy's alibi is Ken Littleton,”
new leads, the investigation went cold. But Dorthy
Moxley never gave up hope: “We knew it had to be one of
the boys, either Tommy or Michael. The murder weapon
came from that house and that was the last place she was
Part II: New Clues In Moxley Case
1991, 16 years after Martha’s murder, the case was
revived when a new investigator started taking another
look at the Skakels.
With the focus back on his family,
Rushton Skakel did something extraordinary: He tried to
clear the family name.
He hired his own team of
investigators to look into Martha's death, and their
results became known as the Sutton Report. The key
findings focused on Littleton as well as Tommy and
Michael Skakel. But the effort backfired after the
report, for the first time ever, pointed a finger at
“Michael lied to the police,” says
Levitt. “Michael's story was he's gone to the Terrians,
he comes home at 11.30 p.m. and then he goes right to
But, he told Sutton investigators
that it was not all he did that night. Around midnight,
Michael said he was drunk and wanted to see Martha. He
went out, climbed a tree outside Martha’s window, threw
stones at the window and then masturbated in a tree.
While climbing down, he said he heard voices right
around where the crime scene took place, and ran home.
Michael even made a tape recording of
that story in a 1997 book proposal for a tell-all
biography: “I remember thinking, 'Oh, my God! If I tell
anyone I was out that night, they’re going to think I
When former L.A. detective Mark
Fuhrman was leaked a copy of the Sutton report, he wrote
the best seller, "Murder in Greenwich," naming Michael
as Martha’s killer.
“Michael Skakel puts himself at the
crime scene, and Michael Skakel makes admissions that
only a murderer would make,” says Fuhrman.
Just one month later, in June 1998,
prosecutor Jonathon Benedict called for a special grand
jury to hear evidence about the case. The grand jury
heard some explosive testimony, much of it from
Michael's former classmates at the Elan Reform School.
Several of them also dropped a bombshell -- that Michael
had confessed to killing Martha.
"The first words he ever said to me
was, 'I'm going to get away with murder. I'm a
Kennedy,'" says former Elan student Greg Coleman. “He
made advances to her, and she rejected his advance. He
drove her skull in with a golf club."
In January 2000, after hearing
testimony from several Elan students and others, the
grand jury indicted Michael for the murder of Martha
When Michael finally went to trial,
the rest of his family was convinced he would be found
not guilty. After all, Michael had an airtight alibi,
and there wasn't a single shred of physical or forensic
evidence that linked him to the crime. His brother,
David, thought that finally the family name would be
cleared once and for all.
“We were worried that without a trial
we could never fully get closure in clearing his
reputation,” says David. But when the jury returned
their guilty verdict, the Skakel family was left shocked
“It’s a feeling of disbelief,” says
Stephen. “I love my brother and I believe in my brother
And just this past week, the
bombshell broke. "On the night of the murder, they
picked up a golf club or some clubs from the Skakel yard
... and that they were going to get a girl, caveman
style," says Kennedy.
For nearly a year and a half now,
Stephen Skakel spends every Saturday morning driving 60
miles from his home to Cheshire, Conn., to visit his
older brother Michael in prison.
“Being able to see him face-to-face
makes all the difference,” he says. “To let him know
we’re still here and still fighting for him.”
At 37, Stephen is the youngest of the
Skakel children. He was just 9 years old when Martha
Moxley was murdered. Since the conviction, he has taken
the lead in the fight to clear Michael and the Skakel
family name: “There’s only so much people can take, and
we’ve taken it for 30 years.”
Even more outspoken, however, is
Skakel’s cousin, Robert Kennedy Jr.
“He doesn’t deserve to be spending 20
years of his life in jail for a crime he didn’t commit,”
Although they were not close as kids,
as adults, Bobby Kennedy Jr. and Michael Skakel shared a
similar history – problems with addiction. Kennedy says
he became close to Michael in 1983, when he first got
sober. By then, Michael had already been sober for a
year or two.
“I spent a lot of time with him, and
we had a very, very strong relationship,” remembers
Kennedy spent six months
investigating what he says were flaws in the
prosecution's case against Skakel for the Atlantic
Monthly article. He says he wrote the article for
Michael’s son, Georgie: “He’s going to grow up with most
people in this country thinking that his father murdered
a girl, and he didn’t do it.”
Kennedy says he received hundreds of
letters after the article. One was from Crawford Mills,
a classmate of Skakel's who told Kennedy that a friend,
Tony Bryant, knew who killed Martha Moxley.
Bryant was one of the first African
American students at Brunswick. Kennedy knew this could
be a bombshell and located Bryant, now a businessman
living in Florida.
"Tony's story has a lot of
credibility and a lot of credence," says Kennedy.
Bryant told Kennedy that he was with
two friends from the Bronx in Greenwich, Conn., on the
night that Martha died. He said they went to Greenwich
on several occasions, and that one friend became
obsessed with Martha.
Bryant said his friends had a plan.
They picked up golf clubs from the Skakel's yard.
"They said that they were going to go
out and get a girl caveman style," says Kennedy. "And
that Tony understood that girl to be Martha Moxley."
Bryant said he wanted no part of
their plan and left. But when he read in the newspapers
what had happened to Martha Moxley, he feared the worst.
"They never actually said that they
had killed Martha Moxley. What Tony said to me - that he
made it clear to them that he didn't want to hear about
the details of what happened that night," says Kennedy.
"But that they were in some ways boastful about it and
were kind of egging him on to inquire to them about the
details. They would say things like 'We accomplished our
mission' and 'We did it.'"
So why would he wait 28 years, until
Skakel was convicted, to tell his story?
"What he said was that his mother,
that he told his story immediately to his mother, that
his mother urged him not to talk about it publicly,"
says Kennedy. "That was prompted by her fear that as a
young, black man in Greenwich, he would be a target for
Bryant denies any involvement in the
crime. But when Kennedy located the two friends, he said
neither of them seemed like they had anything to hide.
"I asked them to confirm some of the
basic information, that I had heard that they were
friends of Tony, that they had been to Greenwich with
him on several occasions" says Kennedy, who received
confirmation from the two men.
Kennedy didn't, however, ask them if
they had anything to do with Martha's murder. But since
the news broke this week, both men are well aware of the
accusations against them, and have denied any
involvement in the murder.
For his part, Tony Bryant admits he
has a past conviction for burglary, and later had to
shut down his company amid allegations of bad business
Still, Skakel's legal team plans to
see a new trial based on Bryant's story. And Kennedy
remains steadfast: "Somebody decided that a Skakel was
going to go to jail, and that all of the other evidence,
the abundant evidence against other people, were going
to be ignored."
Kennedy now says these new
developments support his arguments put forth in his
original article - that the prosecution simply had the
"The strongest piece of evidence is
that Michael has an alibi," says Kennedy.
Skakel's alibi - that he was across
town watching "Monty Python" when the murder occurred -
has always been supported by several relatives,
including his brother John.
“I took a lie detector test in which
I was asked who was in the car that went to my cousins,
the Terrians, who live about eight miles away,”
remembers brother John, who says he convincingly passed
the test. “And Michael was, in fact, in the car. That
was my response.”
John’s 1975 polygraph results,
however, were inadmissible in court. What was allowed
into the trial, though, was the damaging testimony of
two former Elan students: Greg Coleman and John Higgins.
The prosecution contended that 17-year-old
Michael openly talked about the murder while attending
the Elan school, where he was sent because of a 1978
drunk driving incident.
“Greg Coleman testified that he had
heard Michael confess to having murdered Martha Moxley 5
or 6 times,” says Kennedy. “But when he came up in front
of the preliminary hearing, Greg Coleman testified that
Michael had only confessed to him once or twice.”
When Michael’s defense attorney,
Mickey Sherman, asked Coleman why he had changed his
story, Coleman admitted that prior to facing the grand
jury, he had taken 25 bags of heroin. Coleman died of a
drug overdose just before the trial. But a tape of his
previous testimony was played for the jury.
Higgins, who Kennedy said was an Elan
bully who tortured Michael at school, testified at the
trial. Higgins, who refused our request for an interview,
said Michael had also confessed to him.
"I think Michael could have gotten
better representation," says Kennedy.
However, the worst day of all for the
Skakel family and Sherman was the day of closing
“The prosecutors in the case used a
very, very sophisticated multimedia technique at the end
of the trial,” says Kennedy.
Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict
transcribed and played Michael’s own words from his book
proposal over gory photographs from the crime scene. “We
needed to connect the dots and that’s what I did,” says
The problem, says Kennedy, was that
Michael was talking about being seen masturbating, not
committing murder. “His tape-recorded words were used
out of context by the prosecutor to imply that he was
confessing to the crime. That multimedia display really
convicted Michael in the end.”
Before the most recent new
information, the family was convinced that the family
tutor, Ken Littleton, should have been looked at more
closely. Littleton’s very first day on the job also
happened to be the day Martha Moxley was murdered.
“He was rather an aloof individual,”
remembers Stephen. “The first thing that stood out for
me was his size. The guy was in good shape.”
At the time of the murder, both
Littleton and Tommy Skakel said they were watching a
movie together. But Kennedy says there were some
inconsistencies in Littleton’s story.
“The accounts by various people of
when certain things happened give enough leeway that
Kenny Littleton could have been outside of the house at
10 o’clock,” says Kennedy.
"I wrack my brains as to what else is
out there that we don't have," says Stephen.
What the Skakels now have, however,
is hope. Tony Bryant has given a 90 minute deposition on
videotape confirming what he told Kennedy. Defense
investigators have also talked to the two men.
But why wasn't any of this new
information known before the trial?
Part III: Defense Seeks New Trial
Robert Kennedy Jr., the conviction of Michael Skakel was
a miscarriage of justice: “This was the easiest case in
the world to win. Reasonable doubt was all over the
But it turns out that Tony Bryant's
story was known even before the trial began.
Remember Crawford Mills? He says he
first took the information to the prosecutor's office
and Michael Skakel's trial attorney just before the
"The prosecutor told him to get lost,"
says Kennedy. "They weren't interested in pursuing the
Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict declined
to talk about the new developments. But he told 48
Hours in April that he thought the trial was
fair and appropriate. He also said that Kennedy’s
article was wrong on all fronts – especially his attack
“He’s been diagnosed with having
bipolar disorder,” adds Gene Riccio, Littleton’s
attorney. “He’s had a number of hospitalizations. He’s a
nice man who’s troubled and had a great deal of
difficulty in his life ... I think arguments made that
Mr. Littleton is responsible for this homicide are
Michael Skakel’s murder trial began
on May 7, 2002. Benedict immediately went after Skakel’s
alibi, which put him at his cousin’s house eight miles
away at the time of the murder. For years, this alibi
had never been in dispute, but Benedict began tearing it
down by questioning a Skakel family friend - Andrea
Shakespeare was one of the witnesses
from the neighborhood on the night of the murder who was
certain that Skakel never took that alibi ride. In her
testimony, when asked if Michael had gone to his
cousin’s that night, she replied he did not.
Benedict continued to attack
Michael’s alibi – this time, using Michael’s own brother,
“He was considered to be the most
credible alibi witness for Michael Skakel,” says
Benedict. “But a funny thing happened over the years.
When John came before the grand jury, he changed his
story to this - he really didn’t have any recall of who
went to the Terrians' house and who didn’t.”
Benedict may have succeeded in
discrediting the alibi, but ultimately, he says Michael
did himself in.
“The truth of the matter is that
Michael Skakel couldn’t keep his mouth shut for a
quarter of a century,” says Benedict, referring to those
Elan students and others that Michael supposedly
confessed to over the years.
“We presented 13 separate people who
had separate conversations in separate venues with
Michael Skakel, all of which were either out-and-out
confessions or at least incriminating admissions by him.
That’s how you try a circumstantial case. You put a
bunch of facts together.”
But what Sherman failed to anticipate
was the impact of Benedict’s closing argument.
“I don’t know if the Skakel family
realized how many persuasive dots I had to connect,”
Up until that point, both sides
thought Michael might be acquitted. “There were days
when I thought ‘Oh, this is just never going to happen.
This is just looking very bleak.’”
Benedict played a critical passage
from Michael’s own book proposal to sum up his case. But
the passage he used was edited in such a way that what
the jury heard appeared to be a confession to murder:
“And I woke up to Mrs. Moxley saying ‘Michael, have you
seen Martha?’ I was like ‘Oh, my God! Did they see me
last night?’ I just remember having a feeling of panic'."
But here is what Benedict
intentionally left out: “And I remember thinking, 'Oh,
my God! I hope nobody saw me jerking off.' And I woke up
to Mrs. Moxley saying, 'Michael, have you seen Martha?'
I was like, 'Oh, my God! Did they see me last night?'"
In August 2002, Michael Skakel was
sentenced to 20 years to life for the murder.
Jeanine Pirro, a former judge and now
New York's Westchester County district attorney,
believes the chances of getting a new trial may be very
But she also says, "You have to look
with some skepticism at a claim of knowing who the
murderers are in a case where the people have agonized
for almost three decades, and wonder what it is that
brings you now to the public arena. Why did you not
There's also the question about Tony
Bryant's criminal past - and other hurdles for the
defense team. "This is all about weighing that delicate
balance," says Pirro. "Do we open up the trial if we
don't think there's any possibility of the verdict being
That's the dilemma the judge who
presided over Skakel's original trial will soon face. "It's
not beyond the realm of possibility for the DA to say we
are going to look at this again," says Pirro. "No one
wants someone who is innocent, wrongly convicted."
Dorthy Moxley’s only daughter,
Martha, would have turned 43 this year. “It doesn’t end.
It really doesn’t end," she says. "Once you’re a victim,
being a victim is just part of you forever.”
And while Bobby Kennedy understands
her loss, he is steadfast: “I know he’s innocent. I know
“A skillful prosecutor can often put
people in jail who are not guilty of a crime, and this
occurs most often in cases involving notorious crimes or
At the same time, Skakel's attorneys
are trying for a new trial. They continue to appeal his
conviction. Among their claims: Michael should not have
been tried as an adult for a crime committed when he was
And, they also argue that Benedict’s
multimedia closing argument deliberately misrepresented
facts. The appeal will be heard this fall. Meanwhile,
Michael’s family visits him regularly.
“He’s had a rough time in prison,”
says Kennedy, who says the stress of prison is obvious.
“I think the prison administration has given him a very
hard time. He’s lost his teeth and he’s been told by the
prison administration that he won’t be able to see a
dentist for at least six months.”
As for the Skakels, they say this
ordeal has actually made their family stronger.
“The positives are that we’re a lot
closer together as siblings,” says John.
“What keeps me going is the hope that
we’re going to get him out of jail back with his son,”
says Stephen. “And not only clear his name, but all of
“It’s out there now,” says Kennedy.
“I’ve done everything that I can do to tell the truth.
And the result ultimately is in God’s hands, like
everything else in life.”
Michael Skakel's attorney, Hope
Seeley, tells 48 Hours that she plans to
file her motion for a new trial by the end of September.
Right now, Skakel's murder sentence
runs until 2022 - with his first chance of parole at
least 10 years away.
Skakel's wife has divorced him and
she has custody of their 4-year-old son, George.
As for the Moxley family, Dorthy says
she'd rather not talk about these latest developments
until the motion for a new trial has been filed. But she
says it's not the first time Skakel's lawyers have
pointed the fingers at other suspects.
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