March 10, 2014
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A Connecticut judge has granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor in 1975.
Judge Thomas Bishop's ruling, which was obtained by The Associated Press, marks a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel. He is the 52-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy and is serving 20 years to life.
Bridgeport State's Attorney John Smriga said prosecutors will appeal.
Skakel argued trial attorney Michael Sherman was negligent in defending him when he was convicted in the golf club bludgeoning of Martha Moxley when they were 15 in wealthy Greenwich. His current attorney called the case weak.
Prosecutors contended Sherman's efforts far exceeded standards and that the verdict was based on compelling evidence.