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Connecticut top court restores Kennedy cousin murder conviction

Michael Skakel, right, in 2013.

(AP Photo/The Stamford Advocate, Jason Rearick, Pool)

Connecticut’s highest court has reinstated the murder conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel.

Prosecutors had asked the state Supreme Court to recover in 2002, the murder conviction against Skakel in the bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley when she was a teen neighbors in wealthy Greenwich.

Connecticut’s highest court heard arguments in February on whether Skakel should get a new trial or be sent back to prison for the murder that took place in 1975.

Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel, was freed on $1.2 million bail in 2013 when a lower court judge ordered a new trial after finding that Skakel’s attorney failed to adequately set. He has been sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Skakel, 55, sat in the gallery of the courtroom for the hearing, as was his cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Judge Thomas Bishop ruled that Skakel likely would have been acquitted if his trial lawyer, Michael Sherman, was more focused on his brother Thomas Skakel. Sherman has defended his work on the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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