TODAY   |  October 24, 2013

Skakel to get new trial for Moxley murder

A Conn. judge has granted a new murder trial for Kennedy family cousin Michael Skakel, on the grounds that Skakel’s attorney didn’t sufficiently represent him. In 2002, Skakel was convicted of the 1975 murder of teen Martha Moxley. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>> cousin michael skakel granted a new trial in the death of his young neighbor. first, katie has the details.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. michael skakel has been in jail for ten years following his conviction. since then, he has appealed the decision. now, a judge ruled if his favor. meaning he could get out of jail in a matter of days. in the decision, the judge threw out his conviction on the grounds his defense attorney at the time was constitutionally deficient, writing the defense of a serious felony prosecution requires attention to detail, an energetic investigation and a coherent plan of defense executed. the trial counsel's failures in each of these areas of representation were significant and, ultimately, fatal to a constitutionally adequate defense.

>> this is the most devastating critique of a trial lawyer i have ever read t. court said nicky sherman handled everything wrong in this trial.

>> 15-year-old martha moxley was beaten to death with a golf club . once reopened in the '90s, the case centered around moxley's next door neighbor and member of the kennedy family . in his latest ahearing, skakel argued his former lawyer was less focused on the defense and more focused on getting himself on tv.

>> he said he was a media wrore.

>> in a statement to nbc news, he wrote, i have always believed in michael skakel 's innocence and am very happy that he will see freedom after all of these years. speaking by intercom at her home, martha moxley 's mother could not disagree more.

>> if there is a new trial, i have always felt as i have always felt, michael skakel is very, very guilty. so i know he is.

>> reporter: the state appeal figure decision. in the meantime, skakel could be released on bail potentially as early as tomorrow. his attorney plans to file a motion on that today. it remains to be seen whether the state will go forward with another frooil trial if their appeal is not granted.