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Thread: Michael Skakel denied parole in 1975 beating death of Martha Moxley

  1. #16
    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarzy View Post
    ^ That's what I was wondering. What evidence did they have? I didn't see anything about any DNA evidence.
    This is going to sound REALLY bizarre. If I remember correctly, they found her body beneath a tree with some clothing removed.

    Over the years, Michael Skakel and his brother couldn't keep their stories straight -- off by a substantial amount.

    One of the latest twists, I think was that Michael admitted to climbing a tree and peeping in the Moxley's house. The particular tree was right above where Martha's body was found. Investigators and people suspicious of Michael thought that Skakel made up this new story because in light of new innovations in DNA, that he feared that detectives would have found and stored some of "biological material" around or on her body, and would now be able to test it and tie it to him. And by saying he was up in this tree, that it would explain how it ended up on the ground. While they didn't find that "material", he had now put himself near the scene of the crime and made himself look even more guilty.

    Also, I think he said he had climbed a tree to get in the window of his own house, even though they never locked the door at the Skakel's. The theory there was that Michael probably had something incriminating on him (blood) that he couldn't risk his parents or siblings seeing on him as he came through the front door. I think he had also been known to have killed several small animals with golf clubs, so it wasn't like it was beyond him to pick one up and use it out of aggression.

    Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of the above, but those are some of the big elements.

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    This is going to sound REALLY bizarre. If I remember correctly, they found her body beneath a tree with some clothing removed.

    Over the years, Michael Skakel and his brother couldn't keep their stories straight -- off by a substantial amount.

    One of the latest twists, I think was that Michael admitted to climbing a tree and peeping in the Moxley's house. The particular tree was right above where Martha's body was found. Investigators and people suspicious of Michael thought that Skakel made up this new story because in light of new innovations in DNA, that he feared that detectives would have found and stored some of "biological material" around or on her body, and would now be able to test it and tie it to him. And by saying he was up in this tree, that it would explain how it ended up on the ground. While they didn't find that "material", he had now put himself near the scene of the crime and made himself look even more guilty.

    Also, I think he said he had climbed a tree to get in the window of his own house, even though they never locked the door at the Skakel's. The theory there was that Michael probably had something incriminating on him (blood) that he couldn't risk his parents or siblings seeing on him as he came through the front door. I think he had also been known to have killed several small animals with golf clubs, so it wasn't like it was beyond him to pick one up and use it out of aggression.

    Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about any of the above, but those are some of the big elements.
    Those are the biggest elements I remember, too. The book suggested that Martha had been flirting/hooking up with Tommy Skakel, the older brother, and Michael was jealous. Her body was found with her pants and underwear pulled down around her ankles, but she hadn't been sexually assaulted if I am remembering correctly. The speculation was that Michael pulled her pants down to embarrass her after beating and stabbing her.

    There's also a movie by the same title, Murder in Greenwich, available for instant watching on Netflix if anyone is interested in learning more.

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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'm going to go add that to my queue!
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  5. #20
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    Default Judge orders retrial for Michael Skakel, Kennedy nephew

    (CNN) -- A Connecticut judge has ordered a new trial for Michael Skakel, the nephew of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, who was convicted of murder in 2002.

    Skakel was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison and has been fighting for years to overturn his conviction, but his past attempts at appeal had been denied.

    Skakel is accused of killing neighbor Martha Moxley with a golf club in 1975.

    In a lengthy opinion Wednesday, Judge Thomas Bishop criticized defense attorney Michael Sherman, who represented Skakel in the high-profile murder trial.

    "Although defense counsel's errors of judgment and execution are not the fault of the state, a defendant's constitutional right to adequate representation cannot be overshadowed by the inconvenience and financial and emotional cost of a new trial," Bishop wrote in his decision.

    CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the order a "shocking development," saying the case "was brilliantly litigated by the prosecutors."

    The 1993 best-selling novel "A Season in Purgatory" is based on the case.
    Judge orders retrial for Michael Skakel, Kennedy nephew - CNN.com

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    One judge got to the decide this???

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    Holy shit.
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    How awful that Martha's mother has to go through this again. She's 80 years old now.
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    I'm not quite getting it. In this article, it says that the Skakel's defense was inadequate. On TV, they are saying the evidence was flimsy (it was. Addicts memories in rehab, 25 years old, aren't that compelling.) Maybe Skakel's attorneys failed to grill those ex-addicts, showing their flawed memories for rehab and Skakel. Who knows. We're sure to hear more.
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    I wonder how much it cost to buy that judge.
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    Dominick Dunne is rolling over in his grave.
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    Michael Skakel’s Lawyer Says Trial in Killing of Martha Moxley Wasn’t Fair

    HARTFORD — More than 40 years after 15-year-old Martha Moxley was found beaten to death near her home in Greenwich, Conn., a lawyer for the man convicted in the killing laid out a litany of reasons that his client, Michael C. Skakel, “did not get a fair shake” during his 2002 trial.

    Mr. Skakel, a relative of the Kennedy family, was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 20 years to life. But he was released from prison after 11 years in 2013, when a judge ruled that his lawyer at the time, Mickey Sherman, had not provided an adequate defense and that Mr. Skakel should be retried.

    On Wednesday, state prosecutors said that Mr. Skakel, 55, did not deserve a new trial and that his conviction should be reinstated. Defense lawyers argued that the 2013 decision should stand.

    Hubert Santos, a lawyer for Mr. Skakel, told a panel of six Connecticut Supreme Court justices that Mr. Skakel’s older brother, Thomas Skakel, was the most likely perpetrator of one of the state’s most notorious crimes. “The weight of the evidence is that Tommy Skakel killed Martha Moxley,” Mr. Santos said. “That’s what Greenwich police believed for 10 years.”

    But the police did not have enough evidence to charge Thomas Skakel with the crime, Mr. Santos said.
    On Wednesday, a now-familiar cast of characters surrounding the case convened in a courtroom to rehash arguments about the believability of witnesses, timelines, alibis and a lack of physical evidence linking Michael Skakel to the murder.

    The crux of the matter before the court is whether Mr. Skakel was deprived of his constitutional right to a fair trial.

    Now in her 80s, Dorthy Moxley, the widowed mother of the murdered girl, has been a steadfast presence in court proceedings that have spanned 18 years. On Wednesday, she walked slowly, stooped, into the courtroom with her son John Moxley and sat in the front row during the 90-minute hearing.

    Across the aisle sat Mr. Skakel, wearing a white shirt and a blue sweater. During the proceedings, he occasionally leaned over to whisper to his cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Mr. Skakel is a nephew of Mr. Kennedy’s mother, Ethel Kennedy.

    Susann E. Gill, a state prosecutor, argued that Mr. Skakel’s legal team, which included four lawyers and multiple investigators, had presented a strong defense. “This was far from a slipshod defense,” Ms. Gill said. “This was a well-planned, well-thought-out defense.”

    But in 2013, during Mr. Skakel’s final chance to have his conviction set aside, Judge Thomas A. Bishop wrote a blistering decision that outlined the failures of the defense provided by Mr. Skakel’s lawyer, Mr. Sherman. Judge Bishop wrote that Mr. Sherman failed to introduce Thomas Skakel as a possible culprit, suggesting that it could have created reasonable doubt among jurors.

    Mr. Sherman, the judge wrote, had been seduced by the intense news media attention of the trial and distracted by his own severe financial problems. Among other things, Judge Bishop said, Mr. Sherman did not properly establish an alibi for Mr. Skakel and failed to prepare a coherent closing argument. Mr. Sherman later served time in prison for failing to pay federal taxes.

    It will most likely be weeks or months before the State Supreme Court issues a decision.

    Martha, the Skakels’ neighbor in Belle Haven, an exclusive waterfront enclave in Greenwich, was beaten with a golf club in an attack so vicious that a retired detective later said the police had been surprised to discover her hair was blond. “We thought she was a redhead,” Detective Stephen Carroll told Timothy Dumas, the author of “Greentown,” a 1998 book about the case.

    Early reports of the killing noted that Martha had last been seen on the night of Oct. 30, 1975, with a group of friends. The group eventually dispersed, witnesses have said, leaving her talking with Thomas Skakel.

    Suspicion fell on the Skakel family, and later on Ken Littleton, a tutor who had just started a new job teaching the Skakel children.
    On Wednesday, Mr. Santos focused much of his attention on Thomas Skakel.

    Evidence that was presented during the 2013 petition for a new trial “leads to the inescapable conclusion that the probable killer was Tommy Skakel,” Mr. Santos said.

    Thomas Skakel admitted to investigators that he and Ms. Moxley had a sexual encounter on the night of her killing. He would have been one of the last people to see Martha alive, Mr. Santos said.

    Thomas Skakel was not in court on Wednesday, another lawyer for his brother said. Efforts to reach him by phone, email and text message were unsuccessful.

    Michael Skakel has been free on bail since November 2013, but has been required to wear a tracking device and is not allowed to leave Connecticut without permission.

    After the hearing, Mrs. Moxley said she still believed that it was Michael Skakel who swung the golf club and killed her daughter.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/ny...fair.html?_r=0
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    Yeah, it's a real travesty that the Kennedy/Skakel gang didn't have access to/couldn't afford competent counsel.
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    So what's the plan here? Push Thomas as the killer, get Michael off and then plead media bias and a wrongful conviction of one brother to create reasonable doubt in a trial of the other?
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