Facts about Martha Moxley
Martha Moxley Biography
After a night of pre-Halloween revelry in October 1975, 15-year-old Martha Moxley was bludgeoned to death with a 6-iron in the exclusive Belle Haven section of Greenwich, Connecticut. The case remained an unsolved sensation for decades afterwards.
Suspects included a family tutor and two neighborhood teens, Thomas and Michael Skakel. (One point which made the case a sensation was that the Skakels were nephews of the late Robert F. Kennedy and his widow, Ethel Skakel Kennedy.)
In 1993 author Dominick Dunne wrote a best-selling novel, A Season in Purgatory, based on the incident. Dunne later encouraged former Los Angeles policeman Mark Fuhrman — notorious from the O.J. Simpson murder trial, which Dunne also covered — to investigate the Martha Moxley murder. Fuhrman’s 1998 book A Murder In Greenwich declared Michael Skakel to be the prime suspect.
In January of 2000 Skakel (then aged 39) was arraigned for the Martha Moxley murder. Nearly two years of pre-trial hearings and discussion followed concerning whether Michael Skakel should be tried as an adult or as a juvenile (since he was 15 at the time of Moxley’s death). On 19 November 2001 the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld an earlier juvenile court ruling that Skakel should be tried as an adult.
Skakel’s trial began in May of 2002, and on 7 June 2002 the jury found him guilty in Martha Moxley’s death. In August 2002 he was given a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. After years of legal maneuvers by Skakel and his family, Skakel was granted a new trial in 2013 after a Connecticut judge ruled that his original lawyer had represented him poorly.
However, in December of 2016 the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that his legal representation had been adequate and the original conviction should be upheld. That meant Michael Skakel was expected to return to prison to continue serving his original sentence.