Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel won’t be retried in the 45-year-old murder case of Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut.
According to NPR, Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo said on Friday that the state will not seek a second trial for Skakel. He filed a “nolle,” a legal declaration allowing the case to be dismissed after 13 months. The decision comes after Colangelo reviewed the case and discovered that out of the 51 potential prosecution witnesses, 17 have died, “making it difficult to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt,” his office told NPR.
Skakel, now 60, was convicted of the murder in 2002 and has been free on bail since 2013 after a state judge vacated his conviction. The case garnered attention due to his family’s wealth, his connection to the Kennedys, and the violence of the crime.
Martha Moxley was murdered on Oct. 30, 1975, just one year after her family had moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. She was 15 years old and was found beneath a tree on her own lawn after someone had bludgeoned her with a golf club and then stabbed her in the neck with the handle. For 23 years, the case stalled, until her former neighbor, Skakel, who was also 15 at the time of the murder, was arrested.
Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Shakel Kennedy, the widow of the late Robert F. Kennedy, and questions of wealth and privilege plagued the case. People questioned the burden of needing to prove the case, and many books were written that capitalized on Skakel’s connection to the Kennedys. In fact, Kennedy Jr. wrote an article titled “A Miscarriage of Justice,” which insisted that Skakel was innocent, and suggested that the live-in tutor, Kenneth Littleton, killed Moxley. In 2016, Kennedy Jr. also wrote a book titled “Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison for a Murder He Didn’t Commit.”
The case was chronicled in “Murder and Justice: The Case of Martha Moxley,” which aired on Oxygen.