Thursday 18 January 2018

Nephew of Bobby Kennedy's widow freed on $1.2m bail

Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Kennedy, freed on bail after being in jail for 11 years.
Michael Skakel, nephew of Ethel Kennedy, freed on bail after being in jail for 11 years.

Michael Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert F Kennedy's widow Ethel, was freed on $1.2m (about €900,000) bail yesterday.

Lawyers are trying to appeal a ruling giving him a new trial in the 1975 killing of teenage neighbour Martha Moxley.

Skakel, touched his hand to his chest as the judge set bail. He had been in prison for more than 11 years on a sentence of 20 years to life.

As conditions of the bail, the judge ordered that Skakel live in Connecticut and wear a GPS tracking device.

"He's one of the most recognised faces of America, so he's not going anywhere," defence attorney Hubert Santos said. Mr Santos said Skakel was "very happy" about the outcome.

A judge ruled last month that Skakel's trial attorney, Michael Sherman, failed to adequately represent him in 2002 when he was convicted in Moxley's bludgeoning with a golf club when they were both 15.

"This is the first step in correcting a terrible wrong," the Skakel family said in a statement. "We look forward to Michael being vindicated and justice finally being served."

Outside court, Moxley's brother John and mother Dorthy said they continue to believe Skakel killed Martha and are confident he will be convicted again at a new trial.

Irish Independent

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