Attorney Favors Opening Skakel Case
The Associated Press
Saturday, Feb. 5, 2000; 1:21 a.m. EST

STAMFORD, Conn. A lawyer for the 39-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy charged in a 1975 murder has supported a motion to open his client's juvenile court arraignment to the public.

"I'm absolutely not opposed to it," said Michael Sherman, an attorney for Michael Skakel. "There's been enough of the 'Kennedy kin cover-up' garbage."

Skakel's case is in juvenile court because he was 15 in October 1975, when he is alleged to have killed Martha Moxley, his 15-year-old neighbor. The girl was beaten to death with a golf club.

Skakel, a nephew of Ethel and the late U.S. senator, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. The hearing on whether to open the arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

Several newspapers have filed a motion to open the hearing to the public. Normally, juvenile proceedings are held in closed courtrooms to protect children from negative publicity that might affect their rehabilitation.

Those concerns don't apply in Skakel's case, according to the motion filed Thursday by The Advocate of Stamford, Greenwich Time, The Hartford Courant, Newsday and The New York Times.

Attorney Mark Kravitz said he believes Sherman's support of the motion guarantees its success.

"The only reason for secrecy in juvenile proceedings is to protect the child," Kravitz said. "We have someone who is not a child, and someone who is agreeing to have it open."