Michael Skakel, Kennedy Cousin, Released From Prison After 11 Years

Thu, November 21, 2013 3:57pm EDT by 1 Comment
Michael Skakel Released From Prison
Pool/News/Getty Images, Courtesy Photo

Michael, Ethel Kennedy’s nephew, was freed on a $1.2 million bond after being convicted of murdering Martha Moxley, 15, in 1975. Read on for more details!

Michael Skakel was imprisoned for more than a decade after Martha Moxley was found dead when they were both 15-years-old in Greenwich, Conn. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison during a 2002 trial, but on Nov. 21, Judge Gary White of Stamford Superior Court set his bail, and Michael was released as a free man. Why was his murder conviction overturned?

Michael Skakel: Released From Prison After Martha Moxley Murder Conviction

Judge Thomas A. Bishop of Superior Court overturned Michael’s conviction in October because he thought that Michael’s first lawyer, Mickey Sherman, represented his case poorly, calling it “constitutionally deficient,” according to CNN.

Martha’s mangled body was found in the backyard of her home in a wealthy, gated community. The night she was murdered, she went to a party with Michael, his older brother Tommy Skakel, and other friends. Her body was found stabbed and disfigured beneath a tree, and a broken golf club was found near her body.

Michael always said he was innocent in the case, which was always a challenge for prosecutors because the crime and its forensic evidence were old when the trial finally happened. Michael ‘s trial was mainly focused on the testimony that he confessed and the incriminating statements over the years.

Michael Skakel’s Family: Justice Is ‘Finally’ Served

“We look forward to Michael being vindicated and justice finally being served,” the Skakel family said a statement after the hearing. “We are thankful to God that after 11 and one half years he will be reunited with his sons. We are grateful for the love and prayers of Michael’s many supporters who have sustained him through this ordeal.” Michael is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, who is the widow of Robert F. Kennedy.

“We stand behind the state,” Martha’s brother John Moxley said, according to USA Today. “We are confident that Judge Bishop’s decision will be overturned. But if there is another trial we will be here for that, too.”

Even though Michael is now a free man, he has to wear a court-ordered GPS tracking device, cannot contact Martha’s family, and must report to a bail commissioner.

— Ivy Jacobson

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