Dorthy Moxley remains optimistic
By Cameron Martin - Greenwich Time
Martha Moxley would have turned 40 on Wednesday, and just as she was in the heart of her mother, Dorthy Moxley knows her late daughter was in the mind of a Connecticut judge.
"I thought something might be happening because the 16th was Martha's birthday," Moxley said yesterday. "I don't know why, but É I think (the judge) came to the decision on the 16th and it took to the 17th to come out."
Superior Court Judge Maureen Dennis ruled Thursday that Michael Skakel should stand trial for the murder of Martha Moxley in Greenwich 25 years ago.
Dennis, a Juvenile Matters division judge, concluded there is sufficient reason to believe Skakel killed Moxley with a golf club in the Belle Haven section of town the evening of Oct. 30, 1975. While the judge held off on deciding whether Skakel should be tried as an adult or a juvenile, Dorthy Moxley has learned patience in the quarter century since Martha's death.
"I had hoped she would come out and make a decision about juvenile or adult court, but I know, these things always take time," she said. "I'll be patient. Whenever she's ready, I'll be glad to hear it."
Dennis presided over a three-day probable cause hearing in late June and in the ruling she released Thursday said the evidence she heard demonstrated "well beyond mere suspicion" that Skakel could have murdered Moxley.
Dennis ordered a juvenile probation officer to prepare a report on issues that might affect Skakel's ability to be rehabilitated, such as education and mental health. The report will be a factor in her ruling on the prosecution's request to transfer the case to adult court.
Vacationing in Vermont this week, Dorthy Moxley said she has kept busy since June, when she sat in the front row of Dennis' Stamford courtroom each day of the hearing.
"I travel, I have many interests," she said. "I find that just keeping up a correspondence with friends and family takes up a lot of time."
Skakel, now 39, was 15 when he allegedly murdered his Greenwich neighbor. He lived in Hobe Sound, Fla., at the time of his arrest, but recently bought a home in Windham, N.Y.
If the case goes to adult court, Skakel has a right for a second probable cause hearing in the new venue. Nevertheless, investigators and prosecutors have given Dorthy Moxley cause to be confident.
"When I was at the probable cause hearings I was told (prosecutors) had a lot more evidence," she said. "I have complete trust in them, I really do. They feel confident, which makes me feel confident. I think they're doing a wonderful job."
The Jan. 19 arrest of Skakel, a nephew of Ethel and the late Robert F. Kennedy, launched a national media maelstrom and brought a dramatic turn to the murder case that haunted Greenwich and the exclusive waterfront neighborhood in which the crime was committed.
Casting a parallel pall over the Glenville section of town is the unsolved murder of Matthew Margolies.
Since her 13-year-old son's 1984 slaying, Maryann Margolies has forged a bond of bereavement with Dorthy Moxley, she said, and was heartened by the decision of Judge Dennis.
"I am very happy for the Moxleys. It has to be a great relief for them," Margolies said. "I'm not saying that Mr. Skakel is guilty, because I don't know that, but it certainly is wonderful for them.
"It gives them hope, and maybe they'll get some sort of closure in the near future. It certainly gives me faith in the criminal justice system."
Dorthy Moxley expressed confidence that the work of investigators and prosecutors will pay off.
"I have been so blessed by people helping me, wonderful people helping me. I just know that all the effort they have put in will pay off, I just know it will," she said. "I'm always a little concerned until everything is done. "But I'm keeping positive and still saying my prayers; I haven't given them up."