Kennedy’s cousin sues Connecticut town after spending 10 years in prison for wrongful conviction

Kennedy family cousin Michael Skakel sued a Connecticut town after spending ten years in prison for a wrongful conviction.

In a new lawsuit, Mr. Skakel alleges that the authorities withheld evidence that led to his imprisonment for more than a decade after his wrongful conviction for the 1975 murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Connecticut.

According to the suit, the city of Greenwich, its police department and the investigator “conspired, aided and/or otherwise acted jointly and/or in concert with one or more of the aforementioned others” to violate civil rights of Mr. Skakel.

It claims the authorities withheld statements from witnesses who said two other men were in Ms Moxley's neighborhood on the night of her murder.

The defendants in the lawsuit “knew that there were other more likely suspects and that there was no probable cause to arrest and/or prosecute Plaintiff (Skakel), but they continued to do so willfully and maliciously in order to convict a ‘Kennedy Cousin,'” the lawsuit alleges. treatment.

Mrs. Moxley, who lived across the street from the Skakel family in wealthy Greenwich, was found dead in her family's backyard in 1975 after being bludgeoned to death with a golf club from the Skakel family home.

Skake was first arrested in connection with Ms Moxley's death in 2000 before being found guilty and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in 2002.

However, he was released from prison in 2013 after a judge overturned his conviction after finding that his old lawyer had not adequately represented him. The state's chief prosecutor declined to prosecute Mr. Skakel again in 2020, strengthening his freedom.

At trial, prosecutors argued that Mr. Skakel was angry with Ms. Moxley because she had rejected his advances while having sex with his brother, Tommy.

Tommy Skakel, among others, was mentioned as a possible killer, however, he has denied any involvement in the murder.

Meanwhile, his brother Michael has also denied killing Mrs Moxley, claiming he was miles away at the approximate time of Moxley's murder, watching a Monty Python TV episode with friends.

Martha Moxley, who was murdered in 1975

(AP)

No arrests have been made in connection with Ms. Moxley's murder since Mr. Skakel's release.

Mr. Skakel's suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from both the city and investigator Frank Garr, now an inspector in the state attorney's office, whom Skakel claims had a “deep antipathy” toward him and the entire family Kennedy.

The lawsuit also alleges that Mr. Garr sought to profit from cooperation in a book about Skakel who killed Ms. Moxley and threatened witnesses to testify against him.

Skakel suffered violations of his constitutional rights, loss of liberty from prison time, humiliation, embarrassment, “severe emotional distress, terror and fear,” financial loss and damage, and “damage to reputation and family relationships,” the suit says. .

Lawyers for Mr Garr and Mr Greenwich have yet to file their responses to the suit.

Mr. Skakel is the nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy.

His cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., now a presidential candidate, was one of his staunchest defenders and wrote a book arguing that Mr. Skakel was framed.