Tuesday August 4 4:55 PM ET
He was a reluctant witness, but a former tutor to two nephews of Robert Kennedy testified Tuesday before a grand jury investigating the unsolved 1975 slaying of a Greenwich teen-ager. Kenneth Littleton testified only after he was ordered by a judge to do so - a situation which means he cannot be prosecuted for any crimes connected to the death of 15-year-old Martha Moxley except perjury. When Moxley was killed on Oct. 30, 1975, Littleton was a 23-year-old live-in tutor to the children of Rushton Skakel. The elder Skakel is the brother of Ethel Kennedy, U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy's widow. The Skakels lived near the Moxleys in wealthy Greenwich. Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club, which police said came from the Skakel house. Littleton and two of the Skakel children - Thomas, then 17, and Michael, then 15 - were originally identified as suspects in Moxley's murder. Authorities over the years have shifted their focus away from Littleton and toward the Skakel brothers. All three have repeatedly denied any involvement in the slaying. The killing shocked the exclusive neighborhood where the two families lived, a gated community known as Belle Haven. Former Los Angeles homicide Detective Mark Fuhrman recently wrote a book about the case. Littleton, now 46, was escorted into the closed grand jury courtroom at midmorning Tuesday, and emerged a short time later with his attorney for a brief session in an open courtroom across the hall. Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict asked Superior Court Judge John Ronan to compel Littleton to testify. Littleton's attorney, Eugene Riccio, told Ronan that his client was invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refusing to testify. Benedict told the judge he believes Littleton has information that is useful to the grand jury investigation. The judge then ordered Littleton to testify. Under Connecticut's grand jury statute, Littleton automatically receives "transactional," or blanket immunity from prosecution in the case except for perjury. Littleton testified for just under two hours. After emerging from the courtroom, he shook the prosecutor's hand and thanked him. He refused to comment to reporters. H. Wayne Carver, the state's chief medical examiner, also testified Tuesday. Grand jury hearings are held in secret, and witnesses are forbidden from discussing their testimony. Littleton, who now lives in Massachusetts, has had a hard life since being identified as a suspect early in the case, his attorney said. "I think you're always tainted by these things, but at least it's less acute and he gets some measure of comfort from what happened today," Riccio said. In Connecticut, one judge is appointed to sit as an investigatory grand juror. Superior Court Judge George Thim was appointed in June as authorities attempted to revive the long-stalled Moxley investigation. Thim began hearing testimony July 10. One of the advantages to a grand jury, at least for prosecutors, is that the grand juror has the right to subpoena witnesses to testify. Prosecutors have complained that their investigations have been hampered because they do not have subpoena power and have been unable to force witnesses to talk to them. Grand juries are rarely called in Connecticut. The Moxley case is only the eighth case sent to a grand jury since 1985.