Investigator must testify in 1975 slaying
AP / Sunday, March 14, 1999

The Associated Press GREENWICH, Conn. -- A private investigator has been ordered to testify about his interviews with two Kennedy nephews before a grand jury investigating the 1975 slaying of a Greenwich teenager.

Suffolk County, N.Y., Judge Michael Mullen on Friday denied a motion by a lawyer for Michael and Thomas Skakel to quash a subpoena of Willis Krebs. He scheduled Krebs to appear before the Bridgeport grand jury on March 24.

Connecticut prosecutors want Krebs to testify about interviews he conducted with the Skakel brothers, nephews of the late Robert F. Kennedy who have been identified as suspects in the murder of Martha Moxley, 15.

Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club on Oct. 30, 1975. Her body was found the next day on her family's Greenwich estate. The 6-iron used to kill her belonged to a set owned by the Skakel family, who lived near the Moxleys.

Krebs formerly worked for Sutton Associates, a Jericho, N.Y.-based firm hired by the Skakel family in 1992 to help prove the innocence of Thomas and Michael, who were 17 and 15, respectively, at the time of Moxley's death.

A Sutton report, however, revealed that both brothers had changed their stories about their movements the night of Moxley's murder, Oct. 30, 1975.

Although both boys maintained their innocence, their new accounts differed radically from the accounts they gave to police in 1975.

The Skakels' attorney, Robert Gottlieb, had argued Krebs should not be forced to testify because he was hired by the suspects' lawyers, making the interviews confidential under the attorney-client privilege.

Mullen ruled that he had no reason to dispute that Krebs is a "material and necessary" witness since a Connecticut judge in September ordered him to appear before the grand jury.

"My judicial colleague in Connecticut is quite capable of deciding whether the attorney-client [privilege] applies under the circumstances of this case," Mullen wrote in his decision.

Mullen also noted that it was the Skakels' lawyer, not Krebs, who fought the subpoena.

Gottlieb said he plans on Monday to apply for a stay of Mullen's order pending an appeal with the state Supreme Court Appellate Division.

"Even if New York courts ultimately require Mr. Krebs' appearance in Connecticut, I have great confidence that the Connecticut courts will never authorize a breach in the attorney-client privilege," Gottlieb said.

In January, a judge in Nassau County, N.Y., refused to honor a subpoena ordering the founder of Sutton Associates, James Murphy, to appear before the grand jury.