"Ruling Ordering Former Skakel P.I. to Testify Expected Today"
By J.A. Johnson Jr., Greenwich Time
A Suffolk County, N.Y., judge is expected to issue a ruling today ordering a
private detective who questioned two suspects in the 1975 Martha Moxley murder
to testify before the Connecticut grand jury probing the Greenwich teenager's
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Karen Petterson said she had been
asked by the judge yesterday if she knew when Connecticut prosecutors wanted the
investigator, Willis Krebs, to appear before the grand jury in Bridgeport. "The
court called us to find out the date they want Krebs up there," Petterson said.
Krebs is a former employee of the Jericho, N.Y., Sutton Associates private
detective agency, which was hired to investigate the Moxley murder in 1992 by
lawyers representing suspects Michael and Thomas Skakel. Connecticut prosecutors
allege the Skakel brothers significantly changed the alibis they had given
police in 1975 when Krebs interviewed them.
Connecticut State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict, who is assisting the Moxley
grand jury, said yesterday he was in discussions with his Suffolk counterpart to
decide when Krebs should testify.
Although Suffolk County Judge Michael Mullen on Oct. 19 endorsed the Connecticut
subpoena ordering Krebs to appear before the grand jury, an attorney
representing the Skakels intervened with a motion to quash the order.
During arguments before Mullen in Suffolk County Court last Friday, attorney
Robert Gottlieb said Krebs' interviews with the Skakels were confidential
attorney "work products" protected from disclosure by the attorney-client
Gottlieb yesterday declined comment on Mullen's apparent decision to reject his
motion. "I'll have a reaction when I read the decision," the Commack, N.Y.,
Michael and Thomas Skakel, who in 1975 were 15 and 17, respectively, were both
with Moxley the night their 15-year-old Greenwich neighbor was murdered,
according to police. Police identified the murder weapon as a 6-iron from a set
of golf clubs owned by the Skakel family, who lived across the street from the
Although police have said both Skakels initially claimed to have been nowhere
near the Oct. 30, 1975, crime scene, prosecutors allege that the brothers told
Krebs of either being at the crime scene or with the victim at the time of the
In countering Gottlieb's arguments to quash the subpoena last week, Petterson
told Mullen that since Krebs' testimony is being sought in Connecticut - which
has its own laws protecting the attorney-client privilege - objections to the
testimony must be decided in that state.
That is exactly what Manhattan Judge Herbert Adlerberg ruled late last year when
upholding a subpoena ordering the grand jury appearance of Thomas Sheridan Jr.,
who in 1992 hired Sutton Associates while acting as Michael Skakel's defense
Benedict yesterday said he would like to be able to schedule Krebs' and
Sheridan's grand jury appearances on the same date. He said scheduling is
subject to the availability of Superior Court Judge George N. Thim, who last
June was appointed a one-judge grand jury to investigate the Moxley murder.
While probing the matter, Thim also is handling cases from the regular criminal
docket at the Fairfield Judicial District Courthouse in Bridgeport.