Prosecutors upset over movie about Michael Skakel
Associated Press

(Norwalk-AP Oct. 3, 2002 12:00 PM) _ Prosecutors who won a murder conviction against Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel are upset about a planned movie they say gives undue credit to Mark Fuhrman, the former Los Angeles police detective who wrote a book about the case.

Fuhrman, known for his role in the O.J. Simpson murder trial, wrote "Murder in Greenwich," the only book on the case to allege Skakel murdered Martha Moxley in 1975.

Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was convicted in June of beating Moxley to death with a golf club when they were 15-year-old neighbors in wealthy Greenwich. Now 42, he was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Fuhrman's book is being made into a two-hour movie to air Nov. 15 on USA Network. Christopher Meloni, who stars in the NBC series "Law and Order: SVU" and HBO's "Oz," plays Fuhrman.

Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict says a draft of the script wrongly suggests Fuhrman's book prompted Skakel's prosecution.

"It implies that he was, if not responsible, certainly greatly influential in the decision to bring about a prosecution," Benedict said.

That assertion is "demeaning to the entire division of criminal justice in Connecticut," Benedict told The Associated Press.

"The train was out of the station and way down the tracks before that book ever came out," Benedict said. "This is a guy who was trying to jump on a train that already left the station."

The script notes Connecticut authorities convened a grand jury to investigate the murder a month after Fuhrman's book was published in May 1998.

Benedict said he decided to seek a grand jury investigation in January 1998 when he took over the case, but authorities were awaiting results of forensic tests.

Fuhrman, the detective who found the bloody glove in the Simpson case, pleaded no contest to perjury after being accused during that trial of lying about his use of racial slurs.

He said he was not claiming sole credit for Skakel's prosecution, but uncovered evidence in the case, including a book proposal by Skakel, that was a key part of the trial.

"I think it certainly put the pressure on Connecticut to do something," Fuhrman said.

Benedict strongly disagreed, saying authorities already had the book proposal.

"Every piece of information he had we had months in advance of the book coming out," Benedict said. "He's trying to take credit for things he simply did not do."

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