Moxley witness to appear next week
Thursday, October 08, 1998
Staff writer

BRIDGEPORT - The owner of a private school in Maine got a reprieve Wednesday from deciding whether or not he will tell all he knows to a grand jury about the 23-year-old murder of a Greenwich girl. But the reprieve for Joseph Ricci only lasts one week he has been ordered to appear Oct. 16 in Superior Court. Fifteen-year-old Martha Moxley was beaten to death with a golf club Oct. 30, 1975, on the grounds of her family's home in the exclusive gated community of Belle Haven in Greenwich. No one has been charged in the slaying. Investigators have said their suspects in the murder include Thomas and Michael Skakel, brothers who are nephews of Ethel and Robert Kennedy. Ricci, the owner and executive director of the Elan School in Poland, Maine, has refused to testify about any conversations he might have had or overheard involving Michael Skakel, who attended the school. The state contends Ricci heard Skakel admit to killing Moxley during a therapy session at the school. The state had scheduled a hearing for today to attempt to force Ricci to testify. State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict will attempt to convince a Superior Court judge that Ricci has no legal duty to keep the confidence. Frank Garr, an inspector with the state's attorney's office who is coordinating the investigation before a one-man grand jury, said Ricci's lawyers were granted a week's continuance to "get their paperwork together." Both Michael, then 15, and Thomas, then 17, were among a group of friends who were with Moxley the night she was beaten to death. Her body was found the next day on her family's estate. The golf club used to kill her was later matched to a set belonging to the Skakel family. The state is also seeking to force the boys' father, Rushton Skakel, who now lives in Florida, to testify before the grand jury.

* Daniel Tepfer, who covers state courts, can be reached at 203-330-6308.