Since Michael Skakel’s 2002 conviction in the 1975 murder of his Connecticut neighbor Martha Moxley when they were both 15, Skakel and his family have drained the family fortune trying to clear his name, reports the New York Times. They hired expensive lawyers, private investigators and expert witnesses. They mounted an offensive on news organizations that broadcast misinformation about Skakel and sued the TV personality Nancy Grace for libel.
Last month, a judge overturned the verdict. On Thursday, he could walk free on bond while he awaits a new trial. The costly campaign to free Skakel is one that very few criminal defendants can hope to marshal. Supporters say this round in court may be his last chance because the family is nearly broke. “The trusts are all gone. Everything's gone,” said Anna Mae Skakel, Skakel’s stepmother. Skakel was an heir to the fortune of his industrial magnate grandfather. He is also connected to the Kennedys: His father's sister, Ethel Skakel, married Robert F. Kennedy.