"There are witnesses who will say they were with Michael eleven miles away from the crime scene when Martha Moxley was murdered in 1975," Robert Kennedy, Jr. said today, Thursday, Oct. 24 in the wake of a judge ordering Michael Skakel a new trial after he has been ensconced in prison for several years, according to NBC News.
The case which has captured the nation's attention ever since Ms. Moxley was beaten to death with a six-iron golf club in fashionable Greenwich, Connecticut in 1975, is once again in the spotlight.
Kennedy also disputed the evidence of an alleged "heroin addict" who claimed Skakel admitted to him he did the murder in the presence of other people. Kennedy further told Lauer the other people all denied Skakel had made such a statement in their presence.
Sounding like a criminal defense attorney arguing to a jury, Kennedy said, "It took Michael's new attorneys a very short time to find these witnesses who provide Michael with an alibi. I don't know why those witnesses were not called at the first trial. Michael is innocent."
Lauer recalled that he was in Connecticut in school at the time of the murder and it was all anyone was talking about at the time.
The late Dominick Dunne, who wrote the bestselling novel "A Season In Purgatory" based on Moxley's murder, re-ignited the public's interest in the case when he came out with his book. Dunne later encouraged former Los Angeles Police Department investigator Mark Fuhrmann to do his own investigation into the case.
The book Fuhrmann later wrote based on his personal investigation kick-started law enforcement to to launch another official investigation into the haunting mystery as to who murdered the beautiful Moxley girl under a Connecticut sky in the middle of the night. That investigation resulted in the arrest of Michael Skakel and his subsequent conviction and prison sentence. Although he was a juvenile at the time of the offense, he was tried as an adult.
He has served 11 years in prison, and his attorneys are asking for bail to be set not exceeding $500,000.
Lauer asked Kennedy, "Well, who did murder Martha Moxley if it wasn't your cousin?"
Kennedy's reply was, "I don't know, but I do know Michael is innocent."
"Do you think he'll be found guilty in a new trial?" Lauer persissted.
"No, if he has another trial, he has good attorneys and I believe he will be found innocent."
Ms. Moxley's half-clothed, battered body was found under a tree in the upscale neighborhood in 1975 when she was only 15 years old. Skakel was also 15 at the time and orginally appealed his conviction on the basis he should be tried in juvenile court. The court of appeals didn't go for that argument.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Bishop criticized the attorneys' handling of the first trial, noting they should have concentrated on the fact Skakel's brother Thomas admitted to having sexual intercourse with her on that tragic night. Family tutor Kenneth Littleton was considered a person of interest in addition to Thomas at the time of the original investigation.
This case is a long way from being over though as prosecutors have announced they will appeal the judge's decision that Skakel deserves a new trial.
Skakel's defense team had previously tried to get his conviction thrown out based on the fact a cousin of NBA star Kobe Bryant has come forward and said two friends of his boasted they murdered Ms. Moxley.
Skakel is also a nephew of the late Ethel Kennedy, wife of former U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy.
Skakel's original sentence was 20 years to life, according to UPI.
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