Skakel defense will try to implicate tutor
By Lindsay Faber - Greenwich Time
NORWALK -- Defense attorneys for Michael Skakel yesterday unveiled transcripts of taped conversations with a former suspect in the murder of Martha Moxley, claiming he confessed to the crime.
The transcripts were included in a series of motions filed yesterday by Skakel's attorneys at state Superior Court in Norwalk. The motions ask the court to allow evidence implicating Kenneth Littleton in the crime. Littleton was a live-in tutor at the Skakel household in 1975.
Moxley was killed in her Belle Haven yard that year. She was 15. Forty-one-year-old Skakel, her teenaged neighbor at the time, is on trial for her murder.
In a taped 1992 conversation between Littleton and his ex-wife, Mary Baker, Baker tries to remind Littleton that he confessed to the murder, according to the court documents.
Baker, who is expected to testify for the defense, claims Littleton once told her that Moxley "would not die" and he "had to stab her through the neck."
Littleton, whose first night on the job was the night of Moxley's death, does not actually confess to the crime in the taped conversation.
He does not remember making those statements, he indicates. He does admit that he became psychotic after Moxley's death and at one point believed, because of the pressure put on him, that he may have committed the crime.
"They really burned it into my head that I could have possibly done it, well you know, I'd sit there thinking, and I'd say, well could I have could I have (sic) been sleeping somehow gotten up in a blackout . . . and done this without even knowing it," Littleton said in a taped conversation on Feb. 10, 1992, according to the transcripts.
Sources said law enforcement officials encouraged Baker to get a taped admission out of Littleton. Littleton and Baker were not married at the time of the conversation.
Defense attorney Michael Sherman, who is arguing that Littleton changed his alibi, also said a comment the former tutor made 10 years ago provides a motive for his testifying against Skakel.
"'The nagging thing is that I'd love to (expletive) screw the Skakels,' " Littleton is quoted as saying in the transcript.
Prosecutors said none of the information revealed yesterday pointed to Littleton as Moxley's murderer.
"None of this information is new," Deputy Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano said. "We gave all this information to the defense. We will respond to their claims in court on Friday."
Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. will take up the motions at a hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Sherman also is arguing that he should be able to admit as evidence a video interview between Greenwich police and Littleton, in which Littleton allegedly admits to a state-retained psychologist that he "could have" committed the crime.
Littleton's attorney denies the allegations.
"If he really made some type of bona fide confession, the state would have run out and gotten an arrest warrant for Littleton," his attorney, Gene Riccio, said. "He has maintained his innocence and is going to maintain his innocence. This purported evidence doesn't change that situation."
Littleton was granted immunity for his grand jury testimony before a judge who eventually called for Skakel's arrest in January 2000.
Defense attorneys suggest in the motion that Littleton sought immunity because he failed three lie detector tests early in the investigation. They are seeking to submit the transcripts of those tests.
They also want to offer testimony from renowned forensics expert Dr. Henry Lee that two pieces of hair discovered at the crime scene resemble Littleton's.
In an unrelated move, the defense also entered a motion yesterday seeking to exclude testimony from the now-deceased state witness Gregory Coleman, who testified that Skakel confessed to the crime at the Elan School, a substance abuse center he attended in the late 1970s in Maine. Coleman later admitted to using heroin shortly before he told the court Skakel confessed. He died last year from a drug overdose.
Sherman and his team also want prosecutors to reveal in advance any testimony involving missing or destroyed evidence.
Opening statements in the trial will begin May 7.