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Judge finds cause to try Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel in 1975 slaying
STAMFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- State Juvenile Court Judge Maureen Dennis has found reasonable cause to try Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel on a murder charge, but has ordered an investigation into whether he should be tried as an adult.
Inspector Frank Garr, a representative of the Connecticut state's attorney and the lead investigator on the case, told CNN in a phone interview, "We anticipate it will be transferred to adult court at some point."
Skakel's attorney, Michael Sherman, said the finding was "expected" because a judge had already found probable cause to issue an arrest warrant. He told Court TV that he expects Skakel will be tried in court and that it "is probably not going to make a big difference" whether the trial is held in juvenile or adult court.
Nephew of Ethel Kennedy
Skakel is a suspect in the 1975 slaying of Martha Moxley, a teen-age neighbor of Skakel at the time in tony Greenwich, Connecticut. The case has posed an unprecedented challenge to the Connecticut court system because the slaying occurred 25 years ago.
Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert Kennedy. He was 15 at the time of the slaying, in which Moxley was bludgeoned with a golf club.
John Moxley, the victim's brother, said he is "happy" about the judge's finding. "We're appreciative. We're pretty confident that common sense would prevail in terms of which court it will go to.
"It would send a very dangerous message to say that if you do something and think you can get away with it and hold out for a certain amount of time, maybe you can. It's a dangerous precedent to set."
60-year sentence possible
A conviction as an adult could carry a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison. It is unclear what punishment Skakel could face if he is tried and convicted as a juvenile under 1975 laws.
Asked on Court TV why the judge would find cause for a hearing but order an investigation into whether the trial should take place in adult or juvenile court, Sherman said, "I honestly don't know. This is a very unorthodox procedure. It's new to everyone, and I think Judge Dennis just wants to make sure she is doing the right think in the right way."
Sherman said his client, who has moved to New York state to be closer to family, is aware of the judge's finding and is "doing fine."
"I couldn't begin to guess what's going to happen next in this case. I never could," Sherman said.
Prosecutor: Enough evidence to try Skakel for 1975 slaying
The Martha Moxley Murder
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