Skakel expected to testify in Conn. murder appeal

Michael Skakel, right, talks with one of his defense attorneys, Jessica Santos, at Skakel's habeas corpus trial at State Superior Court in Vernon, Conn., on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.   Skakel, who did not testify at his trial but did speak at last year when he was denied parole, began testifying Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Stamford Advocate,Jason Rearick, Pool )
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Michael Skakel, right, talks with one of his defense attorneys, Jessica Santos, at Skakel's habeas corpus trial at State Superior Court in Vernon, Conn., on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. Skakel, who did not testify at his trial but did speak at last year when he was denied parole, began testifying Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Stamford Advocate,Jason Rearick, Pool )

VERNON, Conn. (AP) — Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel (SKAY'-kul) is expected to take the witness stand as he challenges his 2002 murder conviction in Connecticut on claims that his trial attorney failed to competently defend him.

Skakel is expected to testify Thursday in Rockville Superior Court in his appeal trial. The nephew of Ethel Kennedy is serving 20 years to life in prison for the 1975 golf club bludgeoning of Martha Moxley in Greenwich (GREN'-ich) when they were both 15 years old.

Skakel didn't testify at his original murder trial.

Skakel argues trial attorney Michael Sherman got caught up in the limelight of the high-profile case and failed to prepare. Sherman says he did all he could to prevent Skakel's conviction and denies he was distracted by media attention.