CT Supreme Court dismisses appeal.
Erin Cox, WTNH-TV 8 Connecticut

(Hartford-WTNH, Nov. 19, 2001 6:20 PM ) _ The Connecticut Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Michael Skakel to keep his murder trial in juvenile court.

The Kennedy cousin is charged with the 1975 murder of his neighbor Martha Moxley, both were just 15 at the time.

"It's not an unexpected decision," says Benedict.

Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict is now ready to move forward and that means putting Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel on trial for murder.

"It's really time to start talking about a trial date," says Benedict.

The prosecutor sounds ready to go, so does Skakel's attorney Mickey Sherman.

"If we win, we win if not we're ready for trial," says Sherman.

So it looks like Michael Skakel will be put on trial as an adult for the 1975 killing of his Greenwich neighbor Martha Moxley.

Skakel's age was the key to his appeal last month before the State Supreme court, claiming since he was 15 at the time of the crime. He should be tried as a juvenile.

While the justices dismissed the appeal, it wasn't on the age argument but rather that this was not the time to consider the appeal.

Next step, a trial at Stamford Superiour Court.

"Of course the case is 26-years-old now. I think both parties feel strongly that it's something that needs to get resolved pretty quickly," says Benedict.

The last time Skakel was in court, the judge asked prosecutors to turn over a list of possible witnesses. The defense attorney has gotten the list and admits to there are a few surprise.

"There's a few nothing extraordinary but there some new faces on the list. I'm not going to say there's not...but nothing I'm really worried about," says Mickey Sherman.

But with all the publicity surrounding this case seating a jury could take some time.

"When they see it then they'll understand and they'll aprreciate the fact that he didn't get off. He didn't beat it. He's not guilty," says Sherman.The State Supreme Court heard arguments last month. Prosecutors argued since Skakel is now 41- trying him as an adult was the only option.

The defense said the state could and should come up with a creative way to punish him as a juvenile should he be convicted.

Skakel's lawyer says he's ready to put the case to a jury and the decision simply means that the high court has said it's too early for them to hear the issue.

Sherman says the court has opened the door for an appeal should the case go to trial and there is a verdict against his client.



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