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Skakel Lawyers Do Some Fingerpointing

A former tutor to Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel was once a suspect in the slaying of neighbor Martha Moxley and incriminated himself in statements he made years after her 1975 death, Skakel's lawyers said.

Defense attorneys for Skakel, who is on trial in Moxley's murder, say they want to use Kenneth Littleton's statements as evidence in the case. A judge will hear arguments today on whether the statements can be used. Jurors will be away from the courtroom and won't return until Monday.

Littleton started his job as a live-in tutor at the Skakel home on Oct. 30, 1975, the day before Moxley's body was discovered. He testified that when he arrived at the Skakel house after school on Halloween, the Greenwich neighborhood was in an uproar — police everywhere, the Skakel driveway filled with cars.

"When I entered the home there was approximately 10 to 15 men in suits and ties, discussing what I don't know," Littleton testified at Skakel's murder trial Thursday.

Littleton testified that after Moxley's body was found, family advisers suddenly directed him to take Skakel, his siblings and a cousin to upstate New York, about two and a half hours away, where the Skakels had another home.

Littleton said there had been no travel plans for that weekend until after the slaying was discovered. He said they stayed in Windham, N.Y., for the weekend and he never heard the children discuss the killing

Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, could face life in prison if convicted of bludgeoning Moxley to death. He and Moxley were 15-year-old neighbors in a wealthy community at the time of the slaying.

Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club later traced to a set owned by the Skakel family.

Littleton, who takes medications for manic depression, also testified that he was asked by a family nanny to check on a noise she heard outside the night Moxley was killed. He said he went outside briefly.

"I heard some scuffling in the leaves," he said. "It sort of spooked me, to be honest with you."

Prosecutors sought to demonstrate Littleton's innocence as well as that of Michael Skakel's older brother, Thomas, another early suspect.

Littleton testified that he had never seen Moxley and that Thomas Skakel was "perfectly composed" that night, when he joined him briefly to watch television.

Earlier Thursday, a friend of Skakel's sister gave testimony that contradicted Skakel's expected alibi. Andrea Shakespeare Renna said she saw Skakel in his home after a car carrying his cousin, James Terrien, left for another part of Greenwich the night of the slaying.

Skakel's lawyers are expected to argue that Skakel was at the Terrien house at least part of that night.

Renna also testified Skakel approached her after school the following day and appeared "sort of hyper."

"He said Martha had been killed and that he and Tommy were the last to see Martha that night," Renna said.

Previously, only Thomas Skakel has been described as the last to see Moxley.

A friend of Moxley's, Jacqueline Wetenhall O'Hara, also testified Thursday. She read entries from the slain girl's diary about pool-hopping, parties and informal gatherings at the Skakel home.

At one such gathering, Moxley wrote, Michael Skakel was "out of it" and behaving like "an ass."

"I really have to stop going over there," she wrote.

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