Vernon, Conn.

Judge schedules hearing on Skakel bail arguments

VERNON, Conn. — A Connecticut judge has scheduled a hearing for arguments on whether he has the authority to release Michael Skakel from prison while he awaits a new trial in the 1975 slaying of neighbor Martha Moxley. Judge Thomas Bishop will hold the hearing Wednesday in Rockville Superior Court. Bishop last week ordered a new trial for Skakel, ruling that his trial attorney, Michael Sherman, failed to adequately represent him in 2002 when he was found guilty of bludgeoning Moxley with a golf club. Skakel, a cousin of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Moxley were 15-year-old neighbors in wealthy Greenwich at the time of her death. Prosecutors say Bishop does not have the authority to grant bond because of an automatic stay of his ruling while they appeal. Skakel’s attorney says Bishop has the authority to grant bail.