Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Martha Moxley Murder

Michael Skakel Arrested

In 1999, A& E aired a special episode of American Justice that focused on the Martha Moxley murder and the Skakel suspects. Contemporary to that presentation, the grand jury was still in session; host Bill Kurtis wisely called the case "a story with many chapters yet to come". On Wednesday, January 19, 2000, Kurtis' words proved prophetic.

Michael Skakel accompanied to court (AP)
Michael Skakel accompanied to
court (AP)

The first of what indeed promises to be a continuing succession of dramatic "chapters" has unveiled. Michael Skakel peaceably turned himself into Greenwich, Connecticut, authorities after the grand jury issued a warrant for his arrest. Posting a $500,000 bond, Skakel was allowed to return to his private residence to await arraignment.

Michael's lawyer, Michael Sherman, who accompanied his client to Greenwich, insists that Michael is innocent. "(My client) stated all along that he did not do this," attorney Sherman told the press. "He had no knowledge of it. He had no part in it. He is not guilty (and) I don't believe there is any hard, physical evidence at all."

According to the CNN Network, "Skakel was charged as a juvenile (because the murder for which he is alleged to have committed occurred when he was 15 years old), fingerprinted, photographed and released on bail pending further judicial proceedings."

Dorothy Moxley (AP)
Dorothy Moxley (AP)

But, adds CNN, "State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict said he would try to move Skakel's case from juvenile to criminal court, prosecuting him as an adult, a process that could take a year."

Martha's brother and mother, in the meantime, look forward to justice at last. "We're thrilled that Greenwich stuck with it," brother John told ABC-TV's Good Morning America, "It's bittersweet at best." Elderly Dorothy Moxley, who has waited 25 years for peace, now hopes that the legal process, finally on the march, doesn't revert to toe-shuffling. "Confess. Let's not drag this out," says she. "Let's just do things quickly and not hurt any more people."