Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel won’t face retrial in 1975 killing, prosecutor says

The announcement comes 45 years to the day after Martha Moxley, 15, was found bludgeoned to death in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel will not face a second trial in the killing of 15-year-old Martha Moxley, who was found bludgeoned to death in Connecticut 45 years ago, a state prosecutor said.

Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo Jr. told a Stamford Superior Court judge Friday that the state cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt due to a lack of forensic and eyewitness evidence against Skakel, NBC Connecticut reported.

Of more than 50 witnesses in the case, 17 are now dead, including the key witness who said Skakel confessed to the 1975 killing, according to the affiliate.

Skakel, the nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, was convicted of killing Moxley in 2002 and sentenced to 20 years to life. After serving 11 years while being denied multiple appeals, he was granted a new trial in 2013 due to mistakes made by his trial lawyer.

He was freed after posting a $1.2 million bond and has remained free since.

In 2018, the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld that ruling and overturned Skakel’s murder conviction.

At the time of Moxley’s killing in 1975, the case received nationwide attention for the Kennedy name and for her brutal death.

Moxley’s brother, John, thanked the state for working on the case over the last 45 years, and her mother, Dorthy, has said the family would be at peace with the decision not to retry Skakel after 20 years of legal battles, NBC Connecticut reported.

In an 2018 interview with the “Today” show, Dorthy Moxley said she was “disappointed” by the court’s decision to overturn Skakel’s conviction, but said that Skakel serving 11 years in prison provided some justice to her family.

“Martha was killed when I was 43, and in just a few weeks, a couple of weeks, I’m going to be 86,” Dorthy said at the time. “That means half of my life I have lived with this.”

“So I think I can live the rest of my life with it also,” she said.