Ex-wife: Tutor never confessed
By Lindsay Faber - Greenwich Time
NORWALK -- The ex-wife of Skakel family tutor Kenneth Littleton testified yesterday that Littleton never confessed to Martha Moxley's murder during a 1984 blackout, and that she was urged later by state investigators to falsely tell Littleton he had, in the hopes of forcing a real confession out of him.
Testimony in the trial of Michael Skakel twisted and turned yesterday, with lawyers at one point even arguing over whether Littleton actually confessed yesterday in one of his statements to the court. Lawyers also grappled with disparate testimony from the two main investigators in the case's 26 1/2-year history -- one of whom said Littleton's alleged confession was bogus and the other who suggested it was real.
Several witnesses took the stand yesterday outside of the presence of the jury, to give Superior Court Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. an idea of whether he should allow Skakel's attorney to introduce evidence he says will to implicate Littleton in the crime.
Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club linked to the Skakel family in October 1975. She and Skakel were 15 and lived across the street from one another. Skakel, now 41, is on trial for her murder.
After almost a full day of confusing testimony from Littleton, his ex-wife, Mary Baker, and the investigators who pursued Littleton as the chief suspect in the 1980s and 1990s, Kavanewsky delayed a ruling about admitting the evidence until Littleton's cross-examination Monday morning. Prosecutors have already questioned Littleton, who is currently on several medications for bipolar disorder, in front of the jury.
In 1992, Baker testified, state investigators asked her to tell Littleton he confessed in a 1984 blackout during a car trip. They even sent her to a bugged hotel room in Boston, where she was to meet up with Littleton and try to force a confession out of him, she said. The defense is seeking to get transcripts of those taped conversations admitted as evidence and hopes to use them to exonerate Skakel.
Whether those conversations were set up by the state with a ruse of falsely telling Littleton he had confessed came under question yesterday, when former State Inspector John Solomon testified that he and former Greenwich police detective Frank Garr did not set Baker up to the task. Garr testified moments later that the duo did in fact tell Baker to lie to her ex-husband.
Baker, in the transcripts, claims Littleton once told her that Moxley "would not die" and he "had to stab her through the neck."
But Baker admitted yesterday she made that up.
Baker, who was married to Littleton between 1983 and 1990, said she agreed to cooperate with Garr and Solomon because she felt bad for Dorthy Moxley, the victim's mother. She said she consistently lied to Littleton in the hopes that if he knew something, he would spill it.
Benedict asked, "Has Ken Littleton ever made any confession to you in regards to the murder of Martha Moxley?"
"Never," she answered.
Asked Sherman, "So you consistently lied to Ken?"
"Yes I did," she said.
Meanwhile, lawyers argued over Littleton's answer to a question seized on by Sherman.
"Did you ever tell Mary you had to stab her through the neck?"
"Yes, I did," Littleton said.
Benedict argued the question was confusing because it came as Sherman showed Littleton a transcript of Baker telling Littleton, albeit falsely, that he once told her he had to stab Moxley through the neck. That conversation never happened, Baker admitted.
Benedict furthered his case by asking Littleton point-blank if he ever confessed to the crime.
"Have you ever admitted stabbing Martha Moxley?" Benedict asked Littleton yesterday.
"No," he answered, adding, "She told me I said I did it."
Asked Benedict: "Do you have any recollection of ever saying anything like that to your ex-wife?"
"No," Littleton answered.
Solomon, in his testimony, denied that the state had ever put Baker up to urging a confession out of her ex-husband.
When asked by both lawyers if he and Garr had done that, he answered, "Absolutely not."
But during his testimony he could not point to a written report of Littleton's confessions in a thick binder he created during his investigation.
"My best recollection is there were statements he made telling her he may have done it, along with many statements about descriptions of the murder and blood and things like that," Solomon said, saying the incriminating statements must be on tape and not in writing.
Garr, who took the stand immediately after, came short of calling Solomon a liar but testified that he and Solomon absolutely urged Baker, Littleton's ex-wife, to fabricate a confession to Littleton so that he might make a real one.
"We had suggested to her that she say these things and confront him with these ideas," Garr said. "We used her as an agent of ours."
But both Baker and Garr insisted yesterday that, despite their efforts, they never heard a direct confession from Littleton that he murdered Moxley. Littleton, who moved into the Skakel home on the night Moxley disappeared, maintains he never even met the 15-year-old girl.