Thomas Skakel not charged as
grand jury's power expires
AP - Greenwich Post

GREENWICH (AP) An attorney for Thomas Skakel, once the prime suspect in the 1975 killing of Martha Moxley, says his client has effectively been exonerated of any wrongdoing in the case.

Thursday marked the deadline for the one-judge grand jury investigating the Moxley slaying to recommend any arrests. Last month, Judge George Thim found there was sufficient evidence to charge Michael Skakel, Thomas' younger brother with murder.

"Since there is no report, I believe my client is completely cleared as far as an investigation is concerned, and his innocence has been more firmly established," said Emanuel Margolis, Thomas Skakel's sttorney.

The grand jury adjourned Dec. 10 after an 18-month investigation into the slaying. Under state law, the grand jury has 60 days to issue its findings.

The prosecutor for the Moxley case, State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict, could not be reached for comment Friday.

For years, Thomas Skakel was considered a prime suspect in the case because he was the last person seen with Moxley the night she was killed, Oct. 30, l975. Both Skakel brothers, nephews of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy, were among a group of teen-agers with Moxley that night.

Attention began to shift toward Michael Skakel in 1991 after he changed his story about his movements the night of the murder. Skakel gave the new Moxley statements to private investigators hired by his family in an effort to clear both brothers.

Moxley was beaten to death with a 6-iron that was matched to a set of golf clubs owned by the Skakels.

Michael Skakel, who now lives in Hobe Sound, Fla., has denied killing the girl. Because he was just 15 at the time of the slaying, he is being charged in juvenile court-- at least initially.

His arraignment has been postponed to March 14 as a judge rules on a request from The Associated Press and five newspapers to open the proceedings, which are normally closed to the public.