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Kennedy Cousin Skakel Granted Travel Privileges

He Was Released On Bail While Prosecutors Appeal New Murder Trial
Michael Skakel (credit: CBS 2)

Michael Skakel (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, who was released on bail last month while prosecutors appeal a ruling granting him a new trial in the 1975 slaying of neighbor Martha Moxley, has been granted permission to travel.

Skakel was given permission travel to see his son in New York and other relatives in Oregon.

Court records showed Skakel’s request on Dec. 9 to visit his son and an earlier request to visit relatives in Oregon for Thanksgiving were granted. Skakel was ordered to remain in Connecticut unless granted permission to travel outside the state.

Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, had been in prison more than 11 years on a sentence of 20 years to life but was freed shortly after a hearing last month in Stamford Superior Court.

A judge ruled that Skakel’s trial attorney, Michael Sherman, failed to adequately represent Skakel in 2002 when he was convicted in Moxley’s bludgeoning with a golf club in wealthy Greenwich when they were both 15.

Judge Thomas Bishop said Sherman failed to locate a witness who backed up Skakel’s alibi that he was at his cousin’s house the night of the murder and failed to find a man who challenged a star witness’s claim that Skakel confessed.

The case was considered a big challenge for prosecutors because of issues, including the age of the crime and the lack of forensic evidence. Skakel was convicted after a trial that focused on testimony that he confessed or made incriminating statements over the years.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)