Kenney was hired by Michael Skakel's defense lawyer because of her expertise on privileged communications - it is alleged that suspect Michael Skakel confessed to murdering Moxley the evening of Oct. 30, 1975, and his lawyers are trying to block grand jury testimony because the alleged confession was made while Skakel was in therapy. Earlier this year, the 44-year-old Red Bank, N.J., resident and former assistant Monmouth County prosecutor was hired by convicted rapist Alex Kelly's fiancee to try to block use of her medical records as evidence against Kelly.
Kenney is friends with state Public Safety Commissioner Dr. Henry Lee and his wife, Margaret.Lee, as head of the state forensic science laboratory, tested physical evidence from the Moxley case and reconstructed the crime scene after a reinvestigation of the murder was launched in 1991.
Just this past summer, Kenney and Lee traveled together to China to teach a course to that country's equivalent of the FBI. When a hearing in Bridgeport on Skakel's alleged confession and the issue of privilege recessed for the day last Monday, Kenney was driven home from the Fairfield County Courthouse with Margaret Lee.
Kenney's boyfriend is Dr. Michael Baden, a renowned forensic pathologist who last year conducted an independent review of the Moxley autopsy on behalf of the victim's family, with whom Baden is friends. The Moxleys brought Baden into the case at the urging of former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman, who at the time wanted to view the autopsy report while researching his book, "Murder in Greenwich: Who Killed Martha Moxley?" which was published in April.
Fuhrman, who investigated the O.J. Simpson murder case, testified for the prosecution during Simpson's trial, and Baden and Lee were both expert witnesses for the defense.
"The fact that these people are tops in their field should be no great shock that they wind up in the same cases, be it O.J. Simpson or the Skakels," said Michael Skakel's lawyer, Stamford attorney Michael Sherman.
Baden is director of the New York State Police Forensic Science Unit. He reviewed the Moxley autopsy file in November, during a meeting in Bridgeport with state officials that lasted several hours, including Chief Medical Examiner Dr. H. Wayne Carver. The pathologist has refused to discuss his findings, citing the ongoing homicide investigation.
The Moxley grand jury has heard from more than 30 witnesses since convening in July. Though Michael Skakel and his older brother, Thomas, are suspects in the slaying, the grand jury appears to be focusing on Michael. Michael and Thomas Skakel, who were 15 and 17 at the time, were neighbors of Moxley and with her prior to the murder. Police identified the murder weapon as a 6-iron from a set of golf clubs owned by the Skakel family.
Attorneys for the brothers have maintained their clients' innocence. A practicing pathologist since 1965, Baden has been involved in many noted cases, including the examination of the remains of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, and the re-examination of the exhumed body of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. He was chairman of the Forensic Pathology Panel of the U.S. Congress Select Committee of Assassinations that investigated the murders of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sherman has called on Baden to assist in cases, including one involving the death in Manhattan of a Connecticut resident several years ago. Sherman said his clients, the victim's survivors who suspected foul play was involved, hired him to dispute the New York medical examiner's finding that the death was a suicide. "I used Michael to second-guess the autopsy," Sherman said. "After I brought Michael into the case, they changed the cause of death to 'unknown.'"
Court observers believe there is a chance Lee will be called before the Moxley grand jury, and that he definitely will be a prosecution witness if anyone is arrested for the 15-year-old Greenwich girl's murder and brought to trial. Those same observers doubt Baden will be asked to testify in either proceeding. Will there be questions concerning the propriety of the relationship between the newest member of the Skakel defense team and the man who studied the Moxley case evidence for the state?
"Not at all," Kenney insisted. "The law is the law is the law, and if we all do our jobs under the law, there is no issue. Dr. Lee will tell the truth as to what he or the state has found, and I will tell the truth as to how I perceive the law as to the privilege issue."
As for Baden, whom Kenny describes as her "significant other," the attorney said, "Michael was just in as a friend of the Moxleys, and I don't foresee him testifying about the autopsy."
State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict, who is assisting the Moxley grand jury, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. His chief investigator on the Moxley case, state Inspector Frank Garr, said he did not have any problems with the intertwined relationships.
"It's like two attorneys - one from the defense and the other from the prosecution - playing golf together on the weekend," Garr said. "There's nothing wrong with that. I don't see any conflict."