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State Supreme Court vacates murder conviction for Kennedy relative Michael Skakel

More than four decades after the victim’s death, a man convicted in 2002 of killing Martha Moxley is getting a new trial.

According to the New York Post Michael Skakel, a member of the dynastic Kennedy family, received a favorable ruling in a close vote by the Connecticut Supreme Court this week.

By a margin of 4 votes to 3, justices overturned a lower court’s 2016 ruling that upheld the conviction in response to legal challenges.

At the root of the complaint are claims that Michael Sherman, who represented Skakel at trial, did not present evidence that would have shown his client could not have been at Moxley’s Greenwich home on the night of the 1975 murder.

Skakel, the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was one of several suspects considered by authorities during an investigation into the brutal beating death.

More than a decade after his 20-year-to-life prison sentence was imposed, a lower court overturned the murder conviction and Skakel was released on $1.2 million bail.

Since the conviction was reinstated by the state Supreme Court in 2016, Skakel’s lawyer has argued on appeal that Sherman provided a substandard defense during the initial trial.

Most notably, attorney Hubert Santos claims his client was miles away from the victim’s home with a group of friends at the time of the murder. He has also pointed to a perceived dearth of evidence presented against Skakel by prosecutors.

The victim’s brother expressed his family’s disappointment over the latest development.

“I don’t know what the next steps are,” said John Moxley. “My mom is getting older. I just don’t think she has the strength to go with this.”

[Featured image: Michael Skakel/Associated Press]