Skakel's arraignment today could be a media frenzy
By Kerry Tesoriero - Greenwich Time

The reserved-seating list for Michael Skakel's arraignment today is most notable for those not invited.

Such as Dominick Dunne and Mark Fuhrman.

Trial Court Administrator Lorraine Murphy said Dunne and Fuhrman missed the deadline for sending reservation requests to her office - 10 a.m. yesterday.

"They were late," she said.

Dunne's name was illegible on his request, and Fuhrman called to reserve a seat, she said.

Dunne's novel, "A Season in Purgatory," offered a thinly veiled fictional scenario of how Michael Skakel or his brother, Thomas, might have gotten away with the October 1975 murder of their Greenwich neighbor, 15-year-old Martha Moxley.

In Fuhrman's book "Murder in Greenwich," the former Los Angeles police detective and discredited witness in O.J. Simpson's murder trial proposes that Michael Skakel killed Moxley. Fuhrman has been hired by ABC as one of several consultants to provide commentary on the case for "Good Morning America."

Neither Fuhrman nor Dunne returned calls seeking comment last night.

Other rejected media organizations include "Inside Edition," the New York Post and ABC-TV in New York, Murphy said.

"We've done what we can do" to accommodate the media, Murphy said.

Skakel's Juvenile Court arraignment originally was to take place in private. But five newspapers - The Advocate, Greenwich Time, Newsday, The Hartford Courant and the New York Times - filed a motion requesting the hearing take place in an open courtroom.

Superior Court Judge Maureen D. Dennis granted the motion, saying juvenile law, which protects young defendants from public exposure of allegations against them, is not relevant in the case of 39-year-old Michael Skakel.

Six or seven unreserved seats in the state Superior Court building at 123 Hoyt St. will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, she said.

The arraignment is scheduled for 2 p.m. today.

Media organizations that obtained reserved seats include 13 television stations, two radio stations, nine newspapers, The Associated Press and a sketch artist.

The newspapers with seats are The Advocate, Greenwich Time, Newsday, The Hartford Courant, New York Times, Connecticut Post, Boston Herald, New Haven Register and Connecticut Law Tribune.

Martha Moxley's mother, Dorthy, who plans to attend the arraignment, is not looking forward to the media-saturated day in court. But she plans to attend with her son, John, and his wife, she said.

"I think I should go to show the prosecutor I stand in support of him," Moxley said. "I want the state of Connecticut to know I appreciate what's been done for Martha's case. I'm just doing what any mother would do."