"Grand Jury Hears From Skakel's Boyhood Friend"
Greenwich Time, Sept. 24, 1998

By J.A. Johnson Jr.
Staff Writer
BRIDGEPORT - A boyhood friend of murder suspect Michael Skakel yesterday
testified before the grand jury investigating the 1975 slaying of Greenwich
teenager Martha Moxley.
Prior to entering the grand jury's sealed Fairfield County Courthouse courtroom,
37-year-old Andy Pugh said he had been subpoenaed after recently coming forward
with information about his former best friend deemed relevant to the probe.
According to Pugh, who in 1975 lived across the street from the Skakels on Otter
Rock Drive, then-15-year-old Michael Skakel had been upset the day Moxley's body
was found because he believed his older brother, Thomas, was being blamed for
her murder, and that later the same day a man in a suit at the Skakel house
prevented him from talking to his best friend. 
Pugh said that before he returned home from soccer practice the afternoon of
Oct. 31, 1975, several hours after Moxley's stabbed and battered body was found,
Michael Skakel had gone to his house and excitedly told Pugh's mother, "They're
trying to pin it on Tommy."
When he went to the Skakel house after soccer practice, as he did nearly every
day, Pugh said a man in a suit he had never seen before told him, "Michael is
indisposed," and, "You won't be able to talk to Michael for a while."
Pugh's testimony could be significant because the events he cited occurred
before police had identified possible murder suspects.
Pugh was subpoenaed as a grand jury witness after he earlier this year contacted
Stephen Carroll, who was the senior local investigator on the Moxley case before
retiring as a Greenwich detective in 1978. According to Carroll, the appearance
of the man in the suit at the Skakel residence came before any Greenwich
detectives went there to question family members, which led him the believe the
man was a lawyer.
"It says to me (the Skakels) already contacted lawyers because there was a
problem and the family needed to be protected by lawyers," Carroll said.
According to police, then-17-year-old Thomas Skakel eventually became a suspect
because he was the last person to be seen with Moxley before she was murdered,
and the murder weapon was identified as a golf club coming from a set of clubs
owned by the Skakels.
Attorneys for Michael and Thomas Skakel have maintained their clients are
Pugh said although he had been Michael Skakel's best friend, that friendship
effectively ended with the Moxley murder. He said he met Michael at Christ
Church years later, in the early 1990s, and that his former friend later
telephoned him to talk about what happened the night Moxley was slain.
Police said Skakel told detectives he had left Moxley at about 9:30 p.m., then
went to his cousin's house in the backcountry and returned home at 11 p.m. That
story apparently changed, however, when in 1993 Michael Skakel gave a different
account to private detectives hired by his family in an attempt to clear the
Skakel brothers as suspects. According to published reports, Michael told
investigators with Sutton Associates from Long Island, N.Y., that after
returning home from his cousin's house he climbed a tree and threw stones at
what he believed to be Moxley's bedroom, trying to wake the girl up, and then
masturbated in the tree.
Pugh, now a bond trader living in Fairfield, yesterday related a similar story,
stating that in one of his telephone calls in the early 1990s, Skakel told him
he had climbed a different tree - the Ponderosa pine tree on the front lawn of
the Moxley residence under which Moxley's body was found.
Pugh said that during the summer that preceded the murder, he, Skakel and Moxley
had become good friends, and that Skakel was "obsessed" with the 15-year-old
girl. Pugh said Skakel's and Moxley's relationship had never been sexual,
although he did see them kiss on several occasions.
Pugh was among the many friends of Moxley and the Skakels who were questioned by
police following the murder. When interviewed on Nov. 2, 1975, police reports
state, Pugh told detectives that "he was out on the evening of Oct. 30, 1975,
but he returned to his house at approximately 8 p.m. He stated he didn't see
anything suspicious while he was out."
Pugh said that even though he believed he had information detectives would be
interested in, he did not come forward with it until after learning the Moxley
grand jury had been convened in July. It was then that he called Carroll, the
retired detective, who in turn related his conversation with Pugh to a state
inspector working with the grand jury. Pugh was later interviewed by the
inspector and subsequently subpoenaed.
Also testifying before the grand jury yesterday were three unidentified women
and two unidentified men.
Testimony is expected to resume this morning.

Thanks to J.A. Johnson Jr. for the article.