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Report clears way for ruling on trial of Kennedy cousin in 1975 murder

Skakel could get life in prison if convicted as an adult. It is not clear what punishment he could face if convicted as a juvenile  

From CNN Correspondent Deborah Feyerick

STAMFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- A probation officer's report on Michael Skakel's background has been completed, clearing the way for a judge to decide whether to try the Kennedy cousin as a juvenile or an adult in the 1975 murder of his then neighbor, Martha Moxley, Skakel's attorney said Thursday.

A court spokeswoman said the hearing date was set for October 20.

Skakel attorney Michael Sherman said he received a copy of the sealed report Friday, but declined to provide details. A spokesman for the State Attorney's office declined comment, except to say, "We're awaiting developments."

In August, following a probable cause hearing, Judge Maureen Dennis found there was enough evidence to try Skakel, but said more information was needed before deciding whether to try Skakel in adult or juvenile court.


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Dennis, in her decision at the time, asked that a probation officer analyze details of the case, including Skakel's family history, whether there is a current threat to the community, and whether juvenile or adult court would be the best venue for bringing justice in the case.

Dennis was not required under current law to order such a review. Participants in the case view her order for the review as an example of her treading carefully in a case complicated by Kennedy fame, and the passage of 25 years between the murder and the murder charge.

Skakel was 15 years old when prosecutors say he used a family golf club to murder Moxley, a neighbor and friend who was also 15 years old. But it took more than a quarter of a century before a one-man grand jury indicted Skakel, then 39 years old. Skakel's aunt is Ethel Kennedy, the widow of late Sen. Robert Kennedy.

Kennedy cousin ordered to stand trial in 1975 slaying
August 17, 2000
Prosecutor: Enough evidence to try Skakel for 1975 slaying
June 29, 2000
Conflicting testimony over whether Skakel confessed to killing
June 21, 2000
Witness says Kennedy relative confessed to 1975 killing
June 20, 2000
Arraignment today for Kennedy kin in girl's murder
February 8, 2000
Attorney: Skakel to be arraigned next month
January 20, 2000
Attorney: No evidence to tie Skakel to 1975 killing of girl
January 20, 2000
Kennedy kin free on bond after surrendering in girl's 1975 killing
January 19, 2000

The Martha Moxley Murder
Martha Moxley - The Unsolved Murder

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