Bay Area friends of Martha Moxley disappointed in Kennedy cousin's new trial

PIEDMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- There was a stunning reversal for an infamous murder case with ties to the Bay Area. The Connecticut Supreme Court vacated Kennedy cousin, Michael Skakel's murder conviction and ordered a new trial for the murder of Martha Moxley more than four decades ago.

Christine Watson, From Castro Valley, reacted to stunning news about the murder of her friend, Martha Moxley. "I'm stunned and disgusted the justice system is doing this."

Moxley was at the center of an infamous 1975 murder case in Connecticut which drew international attention. Skakel was convicted of bludgeoning Moxley to death with a golf club when she was 15.

But on Friday, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed the conviction, which had been upheld by the same court just two years ago, and ordered a new trial.

Justices ruled that Skakel's former defense attorney failed to present evidence of an alibi.

Before moving back east with her family, Moxley lived in Piedmont. She went to middle school. Childhood friends say she was one of a kind. "I don't think she ever met anyone who didn't become her friend," said Christine Watson.

Robert Kennedy Jr. has long argued his cousin's innocence and wrote a book about it. "I'm very happy," he said. "Michael's been through a nightmare. He's innocent. He should never have gone to jail and we're happy he's getting justice."

The decision comes as a blow to Moxley's mother, Dorothy. "I'm disappointed, in shock," she said. "I'm so convinced he's guilty. I don't think there's any question about it."

Christine Watson hopes Moxley's family can endure another trial. Skakel was released in 2013 after more than a decade in prison.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.