Michael Skakel, the nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow Ethel Kennedy, has been imprisoned since 2002 when he was convicted of murdering his 15-year-old neighbor, Martha Moxley, in 1975 when he and Martha were both teenagers.
Reportedly, Skakel beat Moxley to death with a gold golf club in Greenwich, Conn., a conviction for which he’s currently serving 20 years to life.
The judge pointed to the ineffectiveness of Skakel’s attorney as his justification for the new trial.
Judge Bishop said:
"The defense of a serious felony prosecution requires attention to detail, an energetic investigation and a coherent plan of defense capably executed. Trial counsel's failures in each of these areas of representation were significant and, ultimately, fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense," according to the 136-page ruling cited by The Hartford Courant.
John Smriga, the Bridgeport Conn. State's Attorney, said he would be filing an appeal to the judge’s decision, which basically tosses out Skakel’s 2002 murder conviction.
Skakel could be freed from prison as early as tomorrow.
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