Kennedy cousin wants a new trial after murder conviction - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Kennedy cousin wants a new trial after murder conviction

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday on whether the murder conviction against Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel that was overturned in 2013 should be reinstated.

Skakel was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in the killing of Martha Moxley in 1975 when they were teenage neighbors.

He was granted a new trial and freed on bail in 2013, after a lower court judge ruled his trial lawyer failed to argue that Skakel's brother could have been responsible for the crime and failed to present a key alibi witness for Skakel.

Skakel's attorney Hubert Santos blames Mickey Sherman, who represented Skakel during the trial, claiming Sherman was more interested in fame and fortune.

A lower court agreed, and threw out the conviction, freeing Skakel after 10 years behind bars, but prosecutors said the conviction should stand.

Now it's up to the highest court in the state to decide whether he should be given a new trial.

"Attorney Sherman's lawyering is what's at issue here, not his public persona or what he may have done on his off time. And, I think if you concentrate on his lawyering and decisions he made as a lawyer, they certainly meet the constitutional minimum," said Assistant State's Attorney Susan Gill.

Once again, we've heard that Skakel believes the real killer is his own brother.

"The evidence leads to the inescapable conclusion that the probable killer is Tommy Skakel," Santos said.

Martha Moxely was bludgeoned to death with a golf club in the Greenwich suburb where she and the Skakel family lived at the time.

Thomas Skakel was once a suspect because he was last seen with Martha.

Outside of court on Wednesday, Robert Kennedy Jr., Skakel's cousin, said "They admitted they had planned to go out and kill Martha Moxley - one admitted they had a crush on her and if that had been admitted in the trial Michael would never have been convicted."

This has been a long ordeal, but Dorothy Moxley has been in court every time. "I could just tell Michael was guilty - there's just no doubt about it. I am pleased today is over. I look forward to going home and resting," said Martha's mother.

It could be months before the Supreme Court rules, because both sides have submitted plenty of documents.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.