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New documents implicate Kennedy cousin

Michael Skakel
Skakel, leaving the courthouse after a March hearing.  

STAMFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- More than a half-dozen witnesses have said Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel either admitted killing Martha Moxley or told them he believes he may have committed the act during an alcohol-induced blackout, according to court records released Monday.

In the original warrant affidavit for Skakel's arrest, made public for the first time Monday, the witnesses' statements describe a troubled young man, prone to weeping when confronted with questions about the beating death of his 15-year-old neighbor in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1975. Skakel was also 15 at the time of the killing

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Application for Skakel arrest warrant (FindLaw) (PDF format)
Decision to try Michael Skakel as an adult - January 31, 2001 (FindLaw) (PDF format)
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The warrant was issued January 14, 2000, nearly a quarter-century after the killing. Skakel, now 40, surrendered to Greenwich Police on January 19, 2000.

The warrant provides a broader picture of the evidence against Skakel than has been available before. It reveals, for example, that one witness said Skakel threatened to kill himself sometime after the murder by jumping off the Triborough Bridge in New York City.

The warrant was among 347 pages of documents released by the court Monday. Previously the records were withheld from the public because the case as part of a juvenile court proceeding. Connecticut law required that the documents be released after the case was moved to criminal, or adult, court on January 31.

Seven witnesses quoted, but not identified, in the warrant were former residents with Skakel of the Elan School for troubled adolescents in Poland Springs, Maine. They all claimed Skakel admitted to being at the murder scene. One said Michael told him: "I did it. I must have done it. I must have done it. I had to do it. I did it."

Statements from two of the witnesses match up with testimony heard last June during Skakel's probable cause hearing in juvenile court in Stamford, Connecticut. One witness, former Elan resident Gregory Coleman, testified that Skakel admitted to the killing and said he thought he would get away with it because he was related to the Kennedy family. Skakel's aunt, Ethel, was married to the late Robert F. Kennedy.

Following the hearings, Judge Maureen Dennis ruled there was adequate cause to try Skakel for the murder. A probable cause hearing in criminal court is scheduled for April 18.

Two other witnesses -- one described as a boyhood friend and the other an associate of Skakel's -- said Skakel did not confess to the killing, but admitted he was at the crime scene. The associate said Skakel said he was not sure what happened that night.

The affidavit says Michael told several people that he was attracted to Martha and wanted to have sex with her, but she spurned his advances on the night of the killing.

"There's certainly not a smoking gun, not a bloody glove," Skakel's attorney, Mickey Sherman, told CNN in a telephone interview. "Not all the people listed there are going to make it to the courthouse."

Sherman said he had interviewed some of the people mentioned in the warrant who did not testify in last summer's hearings and found them less than credible.

"I reserve my judgment until I see them on the witness stand. But I'm skeptical," Sherman said.

Despite the newly released information, state's attorney Jonathan Benedict told CNN he did not anticipate calling any new witnesses in the April hearings.

Another witness, described as a former employee of the Skakel family, told of a fight between Skakel and his father in the months following the Moxley killing. The witness said Skakel ordered the employee at knifepoint to drive him to New York City, where he threatened to kill himself by jumping off the Triborough Bridge.

"Shut up and drive or I'll stab you," he quoted Skakel as saying. He said Skakel told him "he had done something very bad, and that he needed to get out of the country, and that he had to kill himself," the document says.

After trying unsuccessfully to get Skakel to see a psychologist, the witness said Skakel went back into the car and then, on the way home, bolted from the car and threatened to jump off the bridge. The witness said he retrieved Skakel from the bridge and brought him home.



RELATED STORIES:
Attorneys spar over trial location in Skakel case
March 1, 2001
Kennedy nephew arraigned in adult court
February 21, 2001
Kennedy nephew to face trial as adult in 1975 killing
January 31, 2001
Prosecutor says Skakel case may depend on switch to adult court
October 20, 2000
Report clears way for ruling on trial of Kennedy cousin in 1975 murder
October 5, 2000
Kennedy cousin ordered to stand trial in 1975 slaying
August 17, 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

RELATED SITES:
The Martha Moxley Murder
Martha Moxley - The Unsolved Murder


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