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No verdict yet in Skakel trial

Michael Skakel, right, arrives at the courthouse Monday with his attorney, Mickey Sherman.
Michael Skakel, right, arrives at the courthouse Monday with his attorney, Mickey Sherman.  

From Ronni Berke

NORWALK, Connecticut (CNN) -- Jurors deliberated Tuesday without reaching a verdict in the trial of Michael Skakel, charged with the 1975 murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley.

Jurors did not request any read-backs of testimony, but did ask for a blackboard during the Tuesday session. It was their first day of deliberations after getting the case Monday following closing arguments.

Moxley, 15, was beaten to death with a golf club outside her Greenwich home on the night before Halloween, October 30, 1975. The golf club matched a set owned by the Skakels, though its monogrammed handle has never been found.

Skakel is a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, attorney general during the presidency of his brother John F. Kennedy and later a U.S. senator from New York. He also was 15 at the time of the crime.

In his closing argument Monday, prosecutor Jonathan Benedict argued that a Skakel family conspiracy kept Michael Skakel away from suspicion in the murder of Moxley, even during the years when his brother Tommy was a key suspect.

Defense attorneys countered that no physical evidence exists linking Skakel to Moxley's death.

Watch the latest report on the trial by CNN's Deborah Feyerick (June 4)

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Timeline: Michael Skakel trial 
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Benedict said jealousy motivated Skakel to kill Moxley, who was last seen flirting with Tommy Skakel in the Skakel driveway.

He pointed to Skakel's frequent admissions over the years that he had been near the place where the crime occurred on the night of Moxley's death, he said.

Benedict called into question the alibi Skakel's defense presented -- that Skakel was at his cousin's house, miles away, at the time they believe Moxley was killed.

Skakel's siblings claimed they could not remember much else about the night, except for Skakel's alibi, prompting Benedict to say, "They feigned a lack of recall because in their actual recall lies the truth." Skakel, he said, remained at home long after his cousin and brothers left in the family car.

"No independent witness can say what happened after the Lincoln left the driveway," Benedict added.

Defense attorney Mickey Sherman zeroed in on the apparent weaknesses of the state's case against Skakel.

"They have no physical evidence. They have no forensic evidence. They have [a] sketchy motive. They have several 'I Love Lucy' wannabes," said Sherman, saying prosecution witnesses were motivated by a desire to be in the spotlight.

Sherman also highlighted previous testimony that showed the extent to which investigators had earlier pursued Tommy Skakel and former Skakel tutor Ken Littleton as suspects.

If convicted, Skakel, 41, could be sentenced to anywhere from 10 years to life in prison.




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