Kennedy Relative Michael Skakel Denied Parole in Moxley Murder

Ethel Kennedy's nephew was convicted in 2002 of murdering Martha Moxley in 1975.

OUTSIDE HARTFORD, CT -- Michael Skakel, a cousin to the famous Kennedy family who is serving 20 years to life in prison after being convicted of murder, was denied parole at a hearing Wednesday morning.

The three-member Board of Pardons & Paroles questioned Skakel for just under two hours in the hearing at MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield, CT, where he is serving his sentence.

Skakel, 52, is the nephew of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel (Skakel) Kennedy. He was convicted in 2002 of killing 15-year-old Martha Moxley with a golf club in Greenwich, CT in 1975.

After nearly a quarter-century, Skakel was indicted for the murder in June 2000. A highly-publicized trial resulted in his conviction on June 7, 2002; during his sentencing hearing, pleas for leniency from Ethel Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. were read, citing childhood neglect and abuse from his father, Rushton Skakel, as well as dyslexia.

Skakel has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence since his arrest, and did so again Wednesday.

"Almost 37 years ago today, Martha was tragically murdered," he said. "The best chance of getting parole would be to admit this crime - but I did not commit this crime."

Skakel referred numerous times to his commitment to sobriety, which he says came on Oct. 25, 1982. 

"As a recovering man, I cannot bear false witness aginst myself, but I pray every day that whoever did this crime comes to justice," he said. "Tomorrow marks my 30th year of sobriety - how can a guilty man stay sober that long with that kind of guilt on their mind?"

Skakel spoke about his son, who is now 13 years old.

"Every day I'm praying to God that I can get home to my boy," he said. "He's proved to me that God does exist. I had the first three years of his life to be with him, and it was unbelievable."

Four members of Moxley's family spoke in favor of Skakel's continued incarceration.

"I believe Michael is representative of the most dangerous aspects of our society," said John Moxley, Martha's brother. "Michael should be incarcerated for the balance of his life."

Moxley's mother, Dorthy, said she sympathized with Skakel for his dyslexia, but that he should not use that as an excuse for what he has been convicted of doing.

"I have sympathy for Michael, because I am also dyslexic, but it never drove me to do the things he's done," she said. "Martha, my baby, will never have a life. To lose a child is the worst thing in the world. I pray nothing happens to your child. He should serve his 20 years, and then maybe he'll do something wonderful."

The panel deliberated for 45 minutes before returning with the decision to deny parole to Skakel.

"Your release is incompatible with the welfare of society," parole board chair Erika Tindill said. Skakel bowed his head, then turned to a group of 10 family members and supporters behind him and patted his heart before being led back to his cell.

Skakel is eligible to apply for parole again in Oct. 2017.

Media organizations covered the hearing moment by moment on Twitter.

tensharp October 24, 2012 at 11:00 PM
You already had your parole, Skankel.
ray October 24, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Yeah, 25 years hidding from the law.
MARGARET F ONEILL October 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Ben Rodriguez October 25, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Why is this news? Who cares? Not me.
tl October 25, 2012 at 01:40 AM
MaryMRevis October 25, 2012 at 03:14 AM
CORRECTION TO THE ARTICLE: Skakel is NOT a member of the Kennedy family NOR does he share any Kennedy blood heritage with them. He is a cousin to the children of Robert F Kennedy via RFK's marriage to Ethel (Skakel) Kennedy to the Kennedys. This does NOT make him a Kennedy. He is a member of the Skakel family only. Get it right Tim Jensen ( author of the article)
Judith Kenny October 25, 2012 at 03:55 AM
The news has always refered t5o himmas a Kennedy and he was convicted because he was rich and related to the kennedys thru marriage , There is NO way they found anything to convict this man on, The crime was old and there was no dna nothing but the minute people heard the word Kennedy and money poof he was guilty. It is a shame that people will send a man to prison because his family was wealthy and came froma political family. He also was a kid when this happened and was not charged as a kid but an adult and that was unfair too. He shoul;d notb have been railroaded because of money and fame and he was. I am sorry for this girls family but they could have said OJ did it and they would have believed it and wanterd him to go to prison so they had closure. Everyone lost on this deal.
billy bob October 25, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Ya-Da....Ya-Da....Ya-Da......... What-e-va!!!!!! . . .
Santiago October 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM
You are absolutely correct! But then how else can they get readers! There is no ethics in journalism. In further support I cite both political campaigns and in particular, the moderator Candy________ in the last Presidential debate.
Jake October 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Maybe if they had treated ted kennedy the same way we would not have had to put up with his garbage for all those years. he got away with murder.
MKR October 25, 2012 at 01:18 PM
My friend and I watched some of the parole hearing on television last night. I was actually shocked at the questions the panel asked. Most of it was pretty off-topic and seemed to be feeding the panel members' curiosity than anything having to do with the case. One panelist even stupidly revealed the name Mr. Skakel's son is living under that protects his identity! That panelist should be removed and replaced. She was very wrong and endangered an innocent child. And for the record, I have my doubts about Mr. Skakel's guilt. I think he got bad counsel and don't understand how he could be sentenced under a law that didn't even exist at the time of the crime. But then, the same court that upheld that conviction is the one who said a woman who can't move, speak and has the mind of an infant can consent to having sex. ????
MotorCityMama October 25, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I think it's been pretty good seeing him in prison now as "bubba's wife."
Les Hendrickson October 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Les Hendrickson October 25, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Yes, especially the victim.
Les Hendrickson October 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM
We are letting the rich get richer at the cost of our own financial freedom. The rich should not be making tax laws. They got rich by wanting and hoarding. What makes you think they will change now? If you think that even one will, then you are more naive than I can imagine. Or you are brain dead, like most people out there.
Sam Livingston October 25, 2012 at 09:08 PM
@Judith- Come on, usually Kennedy's get away with murder, just look at Teddy or the good doctor rapist Willie Kennedy Smith who made sure the Kennedy name was part of his!


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