Prosecutors file motion to appeal Skakel ruling - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Prosecutors file motion to appeal Skakel ruling

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Michael Skakel in court (WFSB file photo) Michael Skakel in court (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB/AP) -

Could Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel return to prison? The Chief State’s Attorney is taking steps to make that happen, going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, the state filed paperwork appealing the recent dismissal of the murder charges Skakel was facing.

The State Supreme Court earlier this month reversed its own 2016 decision and vacated Skakel's murder conviction in the bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley in their wealthy Greenwich neighborhood in 1975, when they were teenagers.

The majority in the 4-3 ruling said Skakel's trial lawyer failed to contact an alibi witness.

The motion filed on Wednesday is the state's last-ditch effort to get Michael Skakel back behind bars for the murder.

It took decades, but in 2002, Skakel was convicted of the murder and served 11 years in prison. He was released in 2013 after Skakel's team argued his trial lawyer was so bad, Skakel didn't receive a fair trial.

The State Supreme Court initially ruled Skakel’s defense was fine and he should serve his life sentence, but that decision was overturned last month by the State Supreme Court.

Usually, that would be the end of it, but the state is choosing to appeal.

They’re asking the State Supreme Court to hold off on making that official while they appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This motion was not filed within the 20-day limit. The state admits it missed the deadline by at least two days because they weren’t aware of it.

They argue, it hasn’t impacted anything.

“No further proceedings have, as yet, commenced in the trial court. The petitioner is not incarcerated. There would appear to be no prejudice to the petitioner,” a statement said.

Even if the motion is granted, the state faces an uphill battle because the U.S. Supreme Court receives hundreds of cases from around the country, but only chooses a select few for a hearing.

So this means the case, that’s gone on for 54 years, is once again up in the air.

Channel 3 reached out to Martha Moxley’s mother for a comment but she did not return phone calls.

John Moxley, Martha's brother spoke to Channel 3 over the phone on Wednesday. 

"I'm convinced that Michael Skakel killed Martha," said John. 

There's still no doubt in John's mind that Skakel killed his sister, Marth. 

"This ineffective counsel, which I thought was the weakest argument of all of them, turned out to be our Achilles heel," John said. 

The Moxley's remain hopeful, but concede Skakel may never be behind bars again. 

"As long as we have a breath, we're going to fight," said John. 

Skakel is a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy. 

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.