Kennedy Cousin Skakel Gets New Trial in 1975 Killing

After years of appeals, a judge ruled that Michael Skakel will get a new trial.

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Skakel Appeal
The Greenwich Time, Jason Rearick, Pool / AP

Updated at 9:10p.m. EST on October 23, 2013

A Connecticut judge ruled Wednesday that Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel’s attorney did not adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor in 1975. Judge Thomas Bishop granted Skakel a new trial, reports the Associated Press.

Skakel—the 52-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy—is currently serving 20 years to life for allegedly bludgeoning Martha Moxley with a golf club in Greenwich when they were both fifteen. Previously, Skakel had unsuccessfully appealed the case for years.

Reacting to the overturned conviction, Skakel’s cousin Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. said on CNN Wednesday night, “This is a blessed event for us.” He added, “my cousin Michael Skakel is innocent of this crime.”

Martha Moxley’s mother, Dorthy Moxley, told CNN’s Piers Morgan, “I do believe Michael Skakel killed my daughter.”

Bridgeport’s State’s Attorney John Smirga said that they will appeal the decision.

This story has been updated to include comments from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a cousin of Michael Skakel, and Dorthy Moxley, the mother of the victim.