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Strange Twist In Skakel Case

A new and bizarre chapter in the investigation of the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley opened this weekend with reports that two men other than Michael Skakel were responsible for the killing.

A relative of Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant implicates two friends in the murder, a lawyer for Skakel said Saturday.
Skakel, 42, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was convicted last year and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for the murder. Skakel and Moxley were both 15 when she was bludgeoned to death in their wealthy Greenwich neighborhood.

Defense lawyer Hope Seeley said Skakel will seek a new trial based on information from Gitano "Tony" Bryant, whose NBA superstar cousin was charged with rape in July.

The Hartford Courant reported Saturday that Tony Bryant said two friends were the killers. They were not identified.

Seeley told The Associated Press that attorneys were led to Bryant through Tres Mills, who had been a private-school classmate of Tony Bryant and Skakel.

Mills told The Courant that he came forward in 2000 or 2001, but that prosecutors and Skakel's former lawyer expressed little interest.

Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano, who helped prosecute Skakel, declined to comment to The Courant.

In a videotaped account made to defense investigators in August, Tony Bryant said two friends picked up golf clubs in Skakel's yard and discussed attacking a girl, The Courant reported. He said it was clear to him the pair were talking about Moxley, whose death he heard about the following day.

Asked why Bryant should be believed now, Seeley told The Courant, "Because he's not really coming forward. We found him."

"I've given my statement to the defense team and I'll stand behind my statement," Tony Bryant told The Courant. "I really don't wish to give another statement at this time."

In Monday's editions, The Courant reported that one man fingered in the killing denied any role. The 43-year-old, who declined to be identified, told a reporter: "I had nothing to do with this. I don't know what kind of sneaky business they're up to. I don't trust them. Nobody's telling me a thing."

The newspaper also reported that in addition to Mills, another classmate of Bryant's now says Bryant earlier claimed to have known the true killers.

Neal Walker, who lived in Moxley's neighborhood in 1975 and whose father draws the Beetle Bailey comic strip, said he saw Bryant's friends in the neighborhood on occasion.

Walker said Bryant told him that on the night of the murder, his friends planned to attack a woman "caveman style" and picked up a golf club on the Skakel's lawn, The Courant said.

Walker said Bryant told him he did not accompany the two friends any further that night, but they told him of their act the next day.

Others were skeptical that Bryant and the two friends, who are black, could have walked around the exclusive, mostly white Belle Haven neighborhood unnoticed — especially a quarter century ago.

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