Michael Skakel slams former lawyer in in Martha Moxley murder trial

(CBS News) More than a decade after a jury convicted him in the 1975 bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley, Michael Skakel is taking the stand to clear his name.

Testifying Thursday in a Connecticut courtroom, the 52-year-old Kennedy cousin said his trial lawyer bungled the case by failing to track down key witnesses.

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Among other things, Skakel said his lawyer, Mickey Sherman, never tried to rebut the claim that Skakel said he could get away with murder because of his famous family.

Skakel claims that he "absolutely" did not want people to know he was related to the Kennedy clan. Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Skakel Kennedy and the late Robert F. Kennedy, and he claims Sherman was more concerned with all the attention the high-profile case received.

Sherman, who recently served a year in prison for tax evasion, will have a chance to defend himself today against Skakel's claims.

But despite any bad blood, he says his former client is innocent, something Skakel has long maintained.

"I know the best chance of my getting this parole is to admit guilt to this crime, but again 10 and a half years later I can't do that. I did not commit this crime," he said.

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Skakel and Moxley were both teenagers when she was found beaten to death with a golf club in upscale Greenwhich, Connectict.

Her mother has attended nearly every hearing in the case. She says Skakel is not to be believed.

However, if the judge sides with him, the Kennedy cousin could become a free man.