Norwalk (Connecticut), Aug. 29 (Reuters): Kennedy family relative Michael Skakel was sentenced yesterday to 20 years to life in prison for killing his next-door neighbour when they were both teenagers, bringing to a close a case that lay unsolved for more than a quarter of a century.
The nephew of Ethel Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, Skakel, now 41 and convicted in June of murdering 15-year-old Martha Moxley in 1975, wept loudly as he pleaded for leniency before Superior Court judge John Kavenewsky.
“I’m innocent as charged,” he said, crying so hard and so loudly at points during his 10-minute address that his words were difficult to understand.
Gesturing to the Moxley family, he said: “I would love to tell them I did this so they can rest, but I can't do this. I cannot bear false witness.”
In handing down the sentence, the judge called Moxley's murder “not only violent but especially vicious.”
“The last 25 years or so, this defendant has been living a lie about his guilt,” he said. Moxley’s body was found on the lawn of her parents’ home in Greenwich, Connecticut, next door to the Skakel home, bludgeoned with a golf club that investigators matched to a set belonging to Skakel’s late mother.