The Associated Press reports that a court has rejected prosecutors’ attempts to send Michael Skakel, a Kennedy cousin, back to prison while his murder case appeal is pending. Skakel posted bail and the prosecutors wanted it revoked by the court.
Connecticut’s Supreme Court did not comment on their decision, but rejected the request.
Skakel is the nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy. He was convicted of the beating death of Martha Moxley in 2002; the crime occurred in 1975 when they were teenagers. Skakel was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, but counsel mistakes spurred a new trial in 2013.
He has been free ever since, after posting $1.2 million in bail.
Defense attorneys and the state attorney’s office have not commented on the case.
In November of 2013, the new trial ruling was appealed by prosecutors to the Supreme Court. This reinstated his conviction in December 2016, says the AP. Appellate defense attorneys have asked the court to reconsider the decision, and that ruling has been pending ever since.
Prosecutor James Killen asked the court to revoke Skakel’s bail, and is unclear on why it is taking so long for a ruling on the new trial appeal. The court typically rules on such requests in only weeks.
Skakel’s case has gained international attention due to the Kennedy name and his prosperous family. There are also numerous theories about how Moxley was killed and who did it. Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club according to investigation reports. Multiple other potential suspects have been mentioned, including Skakel’s brother. However, he has denied any involvement with the crime.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has published a book which argues Skakel is innocent.
*Photo credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images