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Verdict in Murder Trial of Michael Skakel

Aired June 7, 2002 - 10:46   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: More than 25 years after the death and murder of Martha Moxley, there is a verdict in the murder trial of Michael Skakel, the Kennedy cousin, on trial for that murder. And a verdict has been reached by the jury. Deborah Feyerick has been covering this case from the beginning since it's gone to trial, and here's a look at the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For prosecutors, it came down to tale of tapes, Michael Skakel preparing a book proposal for his biography, describing the path he took the night of the murder, a path prosecutors say that mimics the path of the killer. Skakel's story beginning at the front of the Moxley home. It's where Skakel says he climbed a tree. And it's where Martha Moxley was first attacked with the golf club.

On the tapes with the proposed author, Skakel describes the next morning. Mrs. Moxley knocking on the door. Skakel answering it, saying he remembered a feeling of panic, then describing his worry of what I went to bed with.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know whether it was a guilt trip or what. But I find it strange that anybody would walk an author literally through the crime scene.

FEYERICK: Prosecutors also relied heavily on a dozen witnesses. They testified hearing Michael Skakel place himself in and around the crime scene.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know we gave it our best shot. It may be a tough shot, but we gave it our best shot, and I know the jury is going to give it a lot of consideration, and it's a compelling case for the jury to work with.

FEYERICK: Michael Skakel's lawyer said the shot wasn't good enough, asking the jury if Michael Skakel had killed Martha Moxley, why did investigators find no fingerprints on the club and no blood at the Skakel home? Skakel's lawyers said prosecutors alleged motive that Skakel was jealous of his brother's relationship with Martha Moxley held no water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a great story. It's a good theory. But you still have to have the evidence to support it. And it's got to be more than guesswork. speculation, or taking some talk from a diary and from kids fooling around at age 15 and 16 and turning into an absolute homicidal maniac.

FEYERICK: As for what confessions call the confession, made at a drug rehab school that Skakel attended several years after the murder. Skakel's lawyer brought out his own witnesses who testified no confessions were ever made. Had they been, the attorney said, everyone at the school would have known it.

Deborah Feyerick. CNN, Norwalk, Connecticut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KAGAN: And once again, as we follow this breaking news story out of Norwalk, Connecticut, the jury in the Michael Skakel murder trial has reached a verdict. We expect to know that verdict within the hour.

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