New Wrinkle In Skakel Case

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Several witnesses are reportedly prepared to testify that Kennedy nephew Michael Skakel admitted involvement in the 1975 killing of neighbor Martha Moxley.

That's according to the Greenwich Time newspaper, which cites sources as saying the witnesses will support two men who have already said in court that Skakel confessed to them while in a drug rehabilitation center.

Skakel's attorney, Michael Sherman, said he had not been informed about any new witnesses. He said if they testify that they heard Skakel confess, "that doesn't change a thing."

The paper said one of the witnesses is a relative of Skakel's, but did not say how the others are connected to him.

Skakel was 15 when Martha Moxley, also 15, was killed on Oct. 30, 1975. The Skakels lived across the street from the Moxleys in an upscale section of Greenwich. The golf club used in the killing was matched to a set of clubs owned by the Skakel family.

Skakel was charged in the killing in January 2000 and later arraigned as a juvenile. A judge ruled last week that his case should be transferred to adult court, saying Connecticut has no juvenile facility where it could send Skakel, now 40, if he is convicted.

Skakel is a nephew of the late Robert F. Kennedy and his widow, Ethel.

A few facets of the case still favor the defense: The evidence is now more than 25 years old and defense attorneys believe the prosecution will have a tough time convincing a jury that testimony about events so long ago is reliable evidence.

"We feel we have a good case and we're ready to go with it. We haven't seen any real indication of memories fading," said Frank Garr, an inspector with the Bridgeport State's Attorney's office who has worked on the case for 25 years.

Prosecutors contend that Skakel killed Moxley in a jealous rage after he saw her kissing his brother, Thomas, the night she was killed. Friends told investigators Michael had a crush on Moxley.

No arrests were made in the case for more than 24 years.

During pretrial hearings last year, prosecutors revealed that one of the main reasons that their attention shifted to Michael as a suspect was because two students at a private school for troubled youths said that while they were in rehab with Skakel in the 1970s, he confessed to the Moxley murder.

Skakel's attorney calls the testimony of Skakel's former companions in rehab "unbelievable."

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