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New Trial Ordered For Michael Skakel In Greenwich Murder

A state judge has set aside Michael Skakel's murder conviction and ordered his retrial in the 1975 death of Greenwich teenager Martha Moxley.
A state judge has set aside Michael Skakel's murder conviction and ordered his retrial in the 1975 death of Greenwich teenager Martha Moxley. Photo Credit: http://www.cnn.com/

GREENWICH, Conn. -- A state judge set aside Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel's murder conviction Wednesday and ordered his retrial in the 1975 death of Greenwich teenager Martha Moxley because of the glaring ineffectiveness of Skakel's original trial lawyer, according to The Hartford Courant.

Judge Thomas Bishop devoted long stretches of his 136-page decision to a harsh critique of Skakel's original trial lawyer, Michael Sherman, in his 2002 trial, the newspaper reported.

Skakel has served about half his 20 years to life prison sentence for killing his neighbor, Martha Moxley, when both were 15 years old.

Skakel won the new trial after a long and last-ditch hearing in Superior Court earlier this year, the newspaper reported. Until Wednesday, Skakel, 52, and a nephew of Robert Kennedy's widow Ethel, had been trying for more than a decade to overturn his conviction.

Moxley's body was found underneath a tree in her family's backyard on Oct. 31, 1975. Pieces of a broken six-iron golf club were found near her body, and an autopsy showed she had been both bludgeoned and stabbed with the club, which was traced back to the neighboring Skakel home.

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