Skakel Trial Too Late?

11/03/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

Attorneys are questioning whether or not it's too late to prosecute Michael Skakel, 39, for the 1975 slaying of his neighbor Martha Moxley. Skakel, a nephew of the late Robert F. Kennedy, was arrested Jan. 19 for the killing of Moxley, who was found beaten to death with a golf club more than 24 years earlier on her family's estate in Greenwich, Conn. Both Skakel and Moxley were 15 at the time. Skakel, who faces a Feb. 8 hearing, denies involvement in the case. When the slaying was committed, there was a 5-year statute of limitations on murder prosecutions. Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict has told the Connecticut Law Tribune that the State Supreme Court has since ruled that murder is a crime that is always subject to prosecution, but other legal experts say that the issue is not that simple. David Moraghan, president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, told the Law Tribune that he believes it is too late to prosecute Skakel -- and that the case could be dismissed.

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