Defense likely to call Skakel's brother
By Lindsay Faber - Greenwich Time

NORWALK -- Thomas Skakel, the older brother of Michael Skakel and the last known person to be seen with Martha Moxley on the night of her murder, is likely to be called as a defense witness in the trial of his brother Michael.

"I'm probably going to call him," defense attorney Michael Sherman said yesterday evening. "I have no reason not to. He's just another person who puts Michael in the car that night."

Michael Skakel has long maintained his alibi that he got into a car with two of his brothers and his cousin and drove to his cousin's home in backcountry Greenwich around the time Moxley was believed to have been killed in October 1975.

She was found beaten to death with a golf club linked to the Skakel family in her family's Belle Haven yard. Moxley, then 15, was friendly with both Michael, 15, and Thomas, 17.

Greenwich police identified Thomas Skakel as the earliest suspect in the case and even prepared a warrant for his arrest.

On the night before Halloween in 1975, both Skakel brothers were listening to music in the car with Moxley and two other friends. At about 9:30 p.m. that night, the group dispersed, according to testimony and police reports. The friends, Helen Ix and Geoffrey Byrne, went home. Michael Skakel has maintained he got into the car with his brothers Rushton Jr. and John, along with his cousin James Terrien, and drove to Terrien's home.

Thomas Skakel and Moxley were left standing and flirting in the driveway. Helen Ix Fitzpatrick testified the two were "just fooling around" and engaging in horseplay. She said she saw Thomas Skakel push Moxley into the bushes.

About an hour later, Thomas Skakel was seen upstairs in his home by his live-in tutor, Kenneth Littleton. The two watched the chase scene from the movie "The French Connection" together.

Littleton testified that Thomas Skakel appeared "perfectly composed" and "not agitated." He said the elder brother was neither soiled nor perspiring.

Prosecutors announced this week they would not call Thomas Skakel to the stand.

"I don't know how it would make sense to put on a member of the family," State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict said. "He doesn't add anything to our case."

Thomas Skakel's attorney, Emanuel Margolis, confirmed last week that if his client is called, he would defend his brother's alibi.



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