NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A U.S. judge has granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbour in 1975.
The ruling, which was obtained by The Associated Press, marks a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel. He is the 52-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, and is serving 20 years to life.
Skakel argued trial attorney Michael Sherman was negligent in defending him when he was convicted in the bludgeoning of Martha Moxley with a golf club when they were 15. His current attorney called the case weak.
Bridgeport State's Attorney John Smriga said prosecutors will appeal.
Prosecutors have contended that the verdict was based on compelling evidence.