Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, nephew of Robert Kennedy’s wife Ethel, has had his murder conviction quashed by the Connecticut Supreme Court. A new trial has been ordered.
Skakel was convicted years after the fact of the 1975 murder of a neighbor’s child, Martha Moxley, just fifteen, who was beaten to death with a golf club allegedly when she refused his advances.
The court found that Skakel’s lawyer Michael Sherman made serious errors defending his client, including not introducing evidence of an alibi.
The case made international news at the time because of the Kennedy connection. Skakel’s new lawyer argued that Skakel’s brother was a much more likely suspect and that Skakel had proof he was fifteen miles away.
The judge’s found that Skakel’s lawyer had never called a witness, Dennis Ossorio, who could have provided an alibi for Skakel.
“Without Ossorio’s testimony, the state was able to attack the petitioner’s (Skakel’s) alibi — a complete alibi for the time period during which it is highly likely that the victim was murdered — as part of a Skakel family conspiracy to cover up the petitioner’s involvement in the victim’s murder,” Judge Palmer wrote.