Permit granted for Moxley house demolition
By Ryan Jockers - Greenwich Time

The owners of the Belle Haven home where Martha Moxley was murdered more than 25 years ago have secured a permit to have it demolished.

Since there were no formal requests to delay the demolition, which the property owners filed for on Feb. 27, a permit to raze the former Moxley mansion, an 18-room dwelling at 38 Walsh Lane, was issued by the town Building Department on April 27, according to documents in Town Hall.

The 96-year-old, 2-story structure, which James and Barbara McEntee bought in 1995, appeared intact yesterday when viewed from the street. The McEntees own an adjacent lot at 20 Walsh Lane.

Reached at home, Barbara McEntee said yesterday that she did not want to comment publicly on the proposed demolition.

It was uncertain six weeks ago whether Michael Sherman, the defense lawyer for murder defendant Michael Skakel, would request the town Building Department to delay the issuance of a demolition permit so the building would be standing if the case goes to trial and the jury wants to view the crime scene.

Sherman said yesterday he and State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict had agreed that it was not necessary to preserve the former Moxley estate for possible jurists to examine.

"There's plenty of pictures available of the crime scene," Sherman said.

Sherman added that it is not his burden to prove the case and that a request to delay the demolition of the Walsh Lane structure - a physical link to Greenwich's most infamous murder - most likely would have come from Benedict.

"If there was affirmative action, it would have been his," Sherman said. Benedict could not be reached yesterday for comment.

In an earlier interview with Greenwich Time, the lead investigator in the Moxley case, State Inspector Frank Garr, said he and Benedict had discussed the McEntees' pending demolition permit and decided that preserving the house was not crucial to their case.

It was in the driveway of the Walsh Lane property where authorities say Martha Moxley was attacked on the evening of Oct. 30, 1975. The 15-year-old's bludgeoned and stabbed body was found the following afternoon beneath a pine tree on the 212 -acre estate in the private Belle Haven section of Greenwich. The murder weapon was identified as a golf club owned by the Skakel family, who lived across the street from the victim.

Skakel and Moxley were among a group of neighborhood friends gathered at the Skakel residence the night of the murder.

The Moxleys, who moved from California to Greenwich in the summer of 1974, sold the 9,903-square-foot house to Broadway actor Jon Lee in 1977 and moved to Manhattan. Lee sold it in 1995 to the McEntees.

After the case lay dormant for many years, a grand jury was convened in 1998 to investigate the Moxley murder. After 18 months of hearing testimony, the one-man grand jury issued a report that was used as a basis for the Jan. 19 arrest of Michael Skakel, who is now 39.

Because he was 15 in 1975, Skakel was arraigned for murder as a juvenile. Whether he will be prosecuted in an adult court is an issue to be decided during a June 20 probable cause hearing in state Superior Court in Stamford.

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