Michael Skakel, the Kennedy family member once convicted of murdering a teen neighbor, is suing the Connecticut town and a former police detective he blames for a life-altering wrongful conviction.
Skakel, 63, filed a state court complaint on Oct. 30 against the town of Greenwich and Frank Garr, who was the lead police investigator in the killing of Martha Moxley.
Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, was found guilty in 2002 of the Oct. 30, 1975, bludgeoning death of Moxley, who lived across the street.
Moxley and Skakel were both 15 at the time, and he was initially sentenced to 20 years to life behind bars.
In 2013, Skakel was released on bail after a Connecticut judge granted him a new trial based on inadequate representation by his attorney.
Connecticut’s Supreme Court in 2018 overturned the conviction, and prosecutors in 2020 opted not to seek a new trial.
Despite those later courtroom victories, Skakel’s attorney Stephan Seeger said his client’s life was forever changed.
“Michael spent over 11 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit,” Seeger said. “The time and the relationships — his life as he knew it — cannot be returned to him. Like other wrongfully convicted persons, recourse is limited to the judicial system.”
Messages left on publicly listed phone numbers for Garr were not not immediately returned Wednesday. The Greenwich town attorney also could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.
Garr is being represented by the state attorney general, and a spokesperson for that office said: “We do not have any comment on this pending litigation.”
The police overlooked a slew of other possible and more likely suspects, according to Skakel’s lawsuit.
“Garr held a deep antipathy toward” Michael Skakel and his family, Seeger wrote in the lawsuit.
Garr and other law enforcement officers “knew that there were other more likely suspects and that there was no probable cause to arrest and/or maintain a prosecution against” Skakel “but continued to do so intentionally and maliciously in order to convict a ‘Kennedy Cousin,’ ” Seeger wrote.
The complaint did not name an exact dollar amount sought by Skakel.