Michael Skakel Update

Update from our earlier post this morning on today's hearing on Michael Skakel's motion for new trial and sentencing:

The Judge has denied Skakel's motion for a new trial based upon grounds that included: the proseuction's withholding of a sketch of the suspect near the scene of the murder who allegedly resembled the tutor who was formerly a suspect, and the admission at trial of the dead drug addict's testimony at pre-trial hearings--even though, among other things, he acknowledged he was high on heroin during his grand jury appearance.

The defense obviously did not have the opportunity to cross-examine the dead witness --and although they did have the opportunity to cross him at pre-trial hearings, it's not the same. Some things you want to save for trial, the issues at preliminary and suppression hearings are far more limited than at trial, etc.

The Judge also rejected the defense argument that the prosecution was wrong in closing to flash "subliminal messages to the jury"--by using computer enhancement techniques to morph Martha Moxley's dead body into a photo of her as the vibrant, attractive 15 year old girl that she clearly was.

Sentencing will continue this afternoon, but the Judge has said not to expect a decision until Thursday.

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