Claims in Skakel's Appeal

Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel's lawyers have filed a new appeal of his murder conviction, claiming that police and prosecutors failed to provide them with evidence that pointed to another suspect and discredited a key state witness.

The motion filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in New Haven seeks a hearing and the setting of bail. A judge has not ruled on the requests.

Here is what it says:

Andrew Wilson

The new case, according to Skakel's Hartford-based lawyers, Hubert Santos and Hope Seeley, claims a Madison police officer forwarded to Greenwich police a letter from a mentally ill man's sister, who said her brother accused another man of killing Moxley.

It claims the sister's letter was in a report dated July 19, 1993, only weeks before the mentally ill man, Andrew Wilson, committed a murder. The lawyers say Wilson and the man he accused are both from Greenwich. Wilson is serving a 30-year prison sentence for killing a Greenwich advertising executive, who was the father of the man he accused of killing Moxley.

Skakel's lawyers say in their motion that they learned about the sister's letter only two months ago.

At Wilson's murder trial, witnesses testified that Wilson, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, had become delusional and said the victim's family ruined his life through mind control and drugging.

"It would be a surprise to me if it was accurate," Robert Skovgaard, Wilson's attorney, said of the latest claim related to the Moxley murder.

Gregory Coleman

The motion says that a lawyer who once represented key state witness Gregory Coleman told a state prosecutor in 1998 that Coleman was an "incorrigible drug addict who would routinely lie in order to get money for drugs."

The lawyer, John Regan, whose practice is in Rochester, N.Y., contacted Skakel's lawyers in December to tell him about his conversation with the prosecutor, the motion says. The prosecutor was not named.

After Skakel's conviction, the motion says, Regan "was disturbed to see that Coleman's role as a witness had been prominent.

Attorney Regan had assumed there must have been a lot of other solid evidence." The motion says Regan learned there had been little other evidence from an Atlantic Monthly article written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Skakel's cousin.

Coleman, who attended a reform school in Maine with Skakel in the late 1970s, said at a hearing before Skakel's trial that Skakel confessed to killing Moxley and said he would get away with murder because "I'm a Kennedy." Coleman admitted to being high on heroin during his grand jury appearance and he died in 2001 after using drugs, but his testimony was read into the record during Skakel's trial.

"These most recent discoveries of the state's failure to turn over exculpatory evidence represent yet another pattern of egregious conduct that has worked to further the injustice of the petitioner's conviction," Skakel's lawyers wrote in the motion.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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