Skakel: Adult or Minor?

09/03/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, charged with the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Conn., is due to return to state court this morning as a decision is made as to whether the 39-year-old defendant should be tried as an adult or a juvenile. The question arises because the crime was committed at a time when Skakel, then a neighbor of Moxley's, was 15. Depending on the amount of evidence that Superior Court Judge Maureen Dennis will permit prosecutors to submit, the hearing could either run a few hours or several days, reports The New York Times, which quotes some lawyers as saying the hearing should last most of this week. Lawyers for Florida resident Skakel, the nephew of Ethel (Mrs. Robert) Kennedy, are expected to move that the entire case be dismissed. If convicted, Skakel would face imprisonment of 25 years to life.

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