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Jury Set For Skakel Trial

A jury made up of mostly white-collar professionals was selected to hear the murder trial of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel. Four alternates are still needed.

The pool included a police officer, a Spanish language teacher and a nurse, whose daughter worked as a prosecutor in New York.

Skakel, a nephew of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, is accused of beating Martha Moxley to death with a golf club in their wealthy Greenwich neighborhood in 1975. Both were 15 at the time.

"It's a very wide-ranging cross section of people," Michael Sherman, Skakel's attorney said Thursday.

Sherman had sought jurors who would not be swayed by sympathy for the victim's family or be biased against a wealthy, well-connected defendant.

Prosecutors wanted jurors who could understand the reasoning behind circumstantial evidence and put together a puzzle that might be missing a few pieces, such as the precise time of Moxley's death.

"It's a very bright, commonsensical jury, said prosecutor Jonathan Benedict.

The six men and six women jury, chosen from wealthy lower Fairfield County, are all white, as was most of the jury pool. The jury also includes a corporate lawyer, an excavator, a hotel executive, an investment officer, a supervisor of restaurant managers, a marketing professional and an executive who runs a large driver training company.

The jury does not appear to offer an obvious advantage to either side, said William Dunlap, a professor of criminal law at the Quinnipiac University School of Law.

"They look as though they are well-educated people who will be able to evaluate the evidence and exercise common sense," Dunlap said.

Testimony is expected to begin May 7.

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