Skakel remains in jail, but still has a chance at bail

Story highlights

  • Skakel's conviction was overturned in October
  • He was convicted of killing Martha Moxley in 1975
  • Skakel is seeking bail
  • But appellate judge says decision on that must wait
A Connecticut judge ruled Wednesday that he does not have the authority to grant bail for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, who awaits a new trial in the 1975 slaying of neighbor Martha Moxley.
Appellate Court Judge Thomas Bishop has said any bail should be determined by the criminal court where Skakel's new trial would be held.
Bishop, who two weeks ago ruled Skakel's conviction should be overturned, on Wednesday lifted an automatic stay on that ruling, clearing the way for a new trial.
In overturning the conviction, Bishop said Skakel, 53, had been poorly represented at his murder trial.
As part of the proceedings for a new trial, Skakel could be allowed to leave jail on bail, but Bishop said he wants the criminal court to decide on the conditions of any possible release. The state has 10 days to ask an appellate court to review Bishop's decision to lift the stay.
A state attorney told reporters the government is yet to decide whether it will ask for that review and declined to comment further.
The state has said it will appeal the ruling that overturns the conviction, a process the judge said could take several years. But that does not preclude Skakel from seeking bail.
Skakel's attorney, Hubert Santos, when asked about his client's state of mind, told reporters Skakel "understands this is a long process," but declined further comment.
Last month, Bishop ruled that defense attorney Michael "Mickey" Sherman's representation of Skakel at his 2002 trial was "constitutionally deficient" and overturned the conviction.
Moxley's body was found in 1975 after a night of partying with Skakel, his older brother Tommy and other teenagers in an affluent gated community in Greenwich, Connecticut. Authorities said she was bludgeoned and stabbed to death; a broken golf club was found near her body.
The case languished for more than two decades.
A series of books on the high-profile crime renewed interest, leading to new tips and a new suspect in January 2000: Skakel, who was 15 at the time of the killing.
Skakel, the nephew of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, has always proclaimed his innocence.