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Tutor's ex-wife says he never confessed to Martha Moxley's murder

Skakel stands outside court in Norwalk, Connecticut, during a recent courtroom recess.  

From Ronni Berke

NORWALK, Connecticut (CNN) -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the Michael Skakel murder case battled in the courtroom Friday over whether the jury should hear evidence that Skakel's lawyers say implicate a previous suspect in the case.

But prosecutors produced a key witness who rebutted defense claims that the ex-suspect, Ken Littleton, confessed to the crime.

Skakel, 41, is charged with murdering his 15-year-old neighbor, Martha Moxley, on October 30, 1975, with a golf club. He is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy.

With the jury home for the day, defense attorney Michael Sherman argued that he should be allowed to admit a 1992 videotape of a conversation between former tutor Ken Littleton and a police-hired psychologist, as well as transcripts of conversations between Littleton and his ex-wife, Mary Baker.

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The defense claims that Littleton confessed to the murder during those conversations. Transcripts, however, portray a confused Littleton recounting what his ex-wife told him that he had said -- but never actually confessing.

Littleton and Baker were both called as witnesses in Friday's hearing. Littleton said his wife told him he admitted the murder during an alcoholic blackout in the back of his car during a 1984 road trip from Baltimore, Maryland, to Connecticut. On Friday he said he could not recall any of the conversations.

Baker took the stand and said Littleton had never confessed to the murder. She said investigators Jack Solomon and Frank Garr had come to her house in Ottawa in 1992, asking her to help in the case -- to either clear Ken Littleton or to contribute to the investigation.

"They told me details about the investigation that they told me were true, that I didn't know about," she said.

At the investigator's request, Baker, who was married to Littleton from 1983 to 1990, agreed to meet with him at a Boston hotel room and record their conversations.

Baker said she tried to coax Littleton into confessing by telling him that during blackouts, he had made damaging statements about the murder, talked about stabbing Moxley, and said he was worried that authorities would find a pair of pants that might incriminate him.

She was asked by Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict if her statement to Littleton about the pants was untrue. "Yes, it was untrue," Baker said.

"Has Ken Littleton ever made any confession to you in regards to murdering Martha Moxley?" Benedict said.

"Never," Baker responded firmly.




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