A three-person board unanimously decided to deny Michael Skakel parole Wednesday, in what was his first parole hearing. Skakel was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor Martha Moxley with a gold club in 1975, when they were both 15. Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, was sentenced to 20 years to life.
Skakel’s attorneys, as well as the letters sent to the parole board by friends and family, including cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr., claimed Skakel to be a model inmate deserving of a shot at freedom. Skakel, 52, maintains that he did not kill Moxley. At the hearing, he brought up his sobriety as evidence of innocence, asking, “How can a guilty man stay sober for 30 years with that kind of guilt on his mind?”
The victim’s mother and brother attended the hearing, and said Skakel should serve life. The board decided that the ten years Skakel has served is not enough punishment for the crime. The denial of parole, said the board, was not based on a risk of Skakel re-offending.