Attorneys for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel on Friday grilled a reporter who wrote a book about the 1975 murder that sent Skakel to prison in an effort to show that an investigator involved in the project was biased.
Leonard Levitt, a former Newsday reporter, wrote “Conviction” about the murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxley, who was beaten to death with a golf club in the exclusive Belle Haven section of Greenwich.
Skakel, who was 15 when Moxley was killed, was convicted in 2002 and is serving 20 years to life in prison.
Skakel is seeking a new trial in a non-jury hearing in Stamford Superior court. His attorneys are trying to prove that Levitt had a financial agreement with investigator Frank Garr, who was actively involved in Levitt’s book. Levitt dedicated the book to Garr.
Prosecutor Jonathan Benedict has said Garr’s involvement in the book and the financial arrangements were made after Skakel’s conviction.
Hubert Santos, one of Skakel’s attorneys, on Friday asked Levitt if Garr offered his assistance before Skakel was convicted.
“I was going to write a book and he was going to help me,” said Levitt, who said he had planned to write the book regardless of how the trial concluded.
Levitt said that Garr always told him that he couldn’t help with the book until Skakel’s trial was over.
Santos’ questioning of Levitt is expected to resume Friday afternoon.
Skakel’s attorneys have also presented evidence this week that one of Skakel’s former classmates, Gitano “Tony” Bryant, has implicated two other men of Moxley’s death.
In a videotaped deposition, Bryant has said he was with the two men, Adolph Hasbrouck and Burt Tinsley, in Moxley’s neighborhood the night she was killed. He said he went home to New York while they stayed at the home of a neighborhood youth.
Bryant said that one of the men had met Moxley and “wanted to go caveman on her,” and that the two later told him: “We did what we had to do” and “We got her caveman style.”
Bryant, Hasbrouck and Tinsley have invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and are not expected to appear at the hearing.
Prosecutors have said Bryant’s claim is unlikely and that nobody saw them in Greenwich the night of Moxley’s murder.
The hearing before Superior Court Judge Edward R. Karazin Jr. is expected to continue next week.