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State Supreme Court hearing on Skakel appeal ends with no ruling

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HARTFORD -- A hearing before the Connecticut Supreme Court over whether the murder conviction against Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel that was overturned in 2013 should be reinstated has ended. A ruling is not expected for weeks, possibly months.

Hubert Santos, Skakel's attorney, told the court Wednesday that evidence in the 1975 murder of Greenwich teenager Martha Moxley points to Skakel's brother, Thomas. Santos said Skakel's trial attorney, Mickey Sherman, didn't do enough to pursue that possibility.

Thomas Skakel's attorney has previously said that his client had nothing to do with Moxley's killing.

Santos revisited his argument that led to Skakel's overturned conviction in 2013 -- that Sherman was distracted by the case's media attention.

"He got lost in the celebrity of the case," said Santos, pointing out areas that he felt Sherman failed Skakel.

"[Sherman] does not mention once the concept of reasonable doubt. Not mention it once," said Santos, a legal point that intrigued the justices.

Prosecutors are standing by their position that Skakel killed Moxley and his trial attorney did a competent job.

"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 the decisions he made as a lawyer, they certainly meet the constitutional minimum," said Susan Gill, assistant state's attorney. "This was a well -planned, well-thought out, professional defense."

"[Sherman] hired three sets of investigators... he consulted with numerous experts...he also was able to secure several important pre-trial victories for his client," Gill told the court.

The victim's family thinks justice will prevail, and there will be a return to the initial conviction will make decades of frustration fizzle.

"I would like Michael Skakel to go back to jail and serve the rest of his sentence. At the end, if he's put in 20 years or whatever they require, then he's free to go. It would've been much easier for all of us he had done that," said Dorothy Moxley, the victim's mother.

Robert Kennedy Jr. attended the hearing and told reporters outside the courthouse that he thinks two other men committed the crime.

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