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Sat Dec 31, 2016, 05:12 AM

Court reinstates Kennedy cousin Skakel's murder conviction

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel faces a possible return to prison after the state Supreme Court reinstated his murder conviction in the killing of Martha Moxley in 1975 when they were 15 years old and neighbors in a wealthy enclave.

The court issued a 4-3 decision Friday that rejected a lower court's ruling that Skakel's trial lawyer didn't adequately represent him. Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote that the majority of the court concluded Skakel's lawyer "rendered constitutionally adequate representation."

It was unclear if Skakel, now 56 years old, will be sent back to prison or allowed to remain free if he appeals or asks the high court to reconsider. His appellate lawyer Hubert Santos said he was reviewing the ruling.

Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, was convicted of murder in 2002 and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in the killing of Moxley, who was bludgeoned with a golf club, in Greenwich. His cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been a top advocate and this year released a book that argued he's innocent.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/12/30/court-reinstates-kennedy-cousin-skakels-murder-conviction/96010102/

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