Michael Skakel Out on Bond
The Greenwich resident has spent more than 10 years behind bars following his conviction for the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley.
Skakel, now 53 years old, spent 11 of those years a prisoner, convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor Martha Moxley with a golf club in the exclusive Belle Haven section of Greenwich on Halloween Eve in 1975, when both were 15 years old.
Nephew to Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, Skakel has for years levied appeals against the original decision. Only in October of 2013 did Judge Thomas Bishop accept Skakel's April appeal. Skakel's lawyers argued he deserved a retrial due to a lack of adequate representation from his original lawyer, Greenwich's Mickey Sherman.
Conditions of Skakel's Nov. 21 release include wearing the monitoring device, not leaving the state of Connecticut and to have no contact with the Moxley family.
Dorthy and John Moxley, Martha's mother and brother, commented upon exiting the courthouse that they were disappointed in Bishop's ruling but that they stand behind the state and hope to see Bishop's decision overturned. Dorthy said Skakel is "still a convicted criminal," but believes he does not present further danger.
"I don't think he was Jeffrey Dahmer or one of those mass murderers," she said to reporters. "We don't have anything to be afraid of."
At approximately 2 p.m., Skakel appeared exiting the courthouse with his lawyer, Hubert Santos, and a number of supporters around him. They paused briefly so Santos could issue a statement before his client was ushered away to a waiting caravan, complete with police escort.
"There were two tragedies that occurred in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1975," Santos said. "The first was, of course, the murder of Martha Moxley. A great tragedy for the Moxley family and for everyone else associated with them. The second great tragedy occurred in a courthouse in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 2002, when Michael was convicted of the murder of Martha Moxley—a murder he did not commit. Hopefully, we are at the first step of righting that wrong and making sure that an innocent man now goes free."
After Skakel was on the road, Dantos briefly addressed the media further, stating his client was "wonderfully happy." When asked what Skakel's first words were upon being released, he said, "Thank God."
"Michael was full of disappointment from the beginning after his prosecution," Santos said. "He was never fully confident this day would come. A great burden has been lifted off his shoulders. He desperately wanted to be home for Thanksgiving."