08/07/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Kennedy nephew Michael Skakel, 39, was ordered to stand trial by Juvenile Court Judge Maureen Dennis in Stamford, Conn., on Thursday in the case of the 1975 slaying of Martha Moxley, his former neighbor who was bludgeoned to death (with a golf club) in Greenwich, Conn. Judge Dennis must now rule on whether or not Skakel, whose aunt is Robert Kennedy's widow Ethel, should be tried as an adult. He was charged as a juvenile because he was 15 at the time of Moxley's death. If convicted as a minor, he could face a maximum prison sentence of four years (or possibly no jail time at all), while, as an adult, his sentence could be life in prison. The decision on the court venue will "hopefully be decided in a very short time," Skakel's attorney, Mickey Sherman, told Katie Couric on Friday's "Today" show. He added that he expects his client to be "completely exonerated."