Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel released on $1.2 million bond after murder conviction vacated
A judge on Thursday released Michael Skakel, a member of the famed Kennedy clan, on $1.2 million bail after his conviction in the murder of his teenaged neighbor was set aside.
Skakel, 53, a nephew of slain politician Robert F. Kennedy, was found guilty in 2002 of the murder of Martha Moxley.
He had served 11 years of a 20 years-to-life sentence when a judge last month, in a surprise move, vacated the sentence.
At a bail hearing attended Thursday by Skakel’s and Moxley’s relatives, Superior Court Judge Gary White said that as a condition of his release, Skakel’s motions will be monitored via GPS.
Skakel also has been forbidden from leaving his home state of Connecticut.
Moxley was found bludgeoned with a golf club in October 1975 in Greenwich, Connecticut, when both she and Skakel were 15 years old.
Her body was found under a tree after a Halloween party on the Skakel family’s Belle Haven estate.
There were no witnesses to the murder and no hard forensic evidence. A golf club used in the murder was later traced to a set once owned by Skakel’s late mother.
The prosecution’s case was based largely on the testimony of people who said they heard Skakel confess and boast that his famous family connections would prevent him from being brought to justice.
The Skakel family spent years, and millions of dollars, appealing the guilty verdict.
Connecticut state court Judge Thomas Bishop in October accepted his defense attorney’s arguments that Skakel had been inadequately represented at trial by his previous counsel.
Prosecutors have not said whether they plan to retry the case, or appeal the decision to vacate Skakel’s conviction.