NORWALK, Conn. – A friend of the Skakel family testified Wednesday she was mistaken when she told a grand jury that Michael Skakel made incriminating statements to his father about the 1975 slaying of Martha Moxley.
Skakel, 41, a Kennedy cousin, is charged with beating Moxley to death with a golf club in their Greenwich neighborhood in 1975 when both were 15.
Family friend Mildred Ix took the stand Wednesday after Skakel's 78-year-old father, Rushton Skakel Sr., testified he could not remember the conversation he had with Ix in 1981. Rushton Skakel, the brother of Ethel Kennedy, suffers from dementia, his lawyer has said.
In 1998, Ix told a one-judge grand jury that Rushton Skakel said his son was concerned he may have had too much to drink the night of the slaying, and could have forgotten killing Moxley. Ix said then that Michael Skakel told his father he wanted to be given truth serum to help him.
On Wednesday, Ix said the elder Skakel had told her that his son wished to undergo a sodium pentothal test, but never made the other statements.
"I know Rush never, ever heard from Michael that he ever killed anyone." Ix said. "I then assumed something that was really in my heart of hearts. I put in Rushton Skakel's mouth what I actually thought."
Her testimony angered John Moxley, the victim's brother, who spoke to reporters outside the courtroom.
"I think it was boldface lies," he said.
Earlier Wednesday, an apparently confused Rushton Skakel said he could not remember the events surrounding Moxley's death.
"I'm 78 years old, my memory is not as good as it was back in those years," he told prosecutors.
Defense attorney Michael Sherman asked Rushton Skakel if he could recall what happened in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
"It was a very big incident, but I don't remember the details," Rushton Skakel said.
Prosecutors asked whether he remembered telling a neighbor in 1981 about incriminating comments made by his son. He said he did not.
Rushton Skakel did remember that his son had been sent to the Elan School, a substance abuse center in Maine, in 1978, but said he could not remember why.
He also testified that a family tutor, Kenneth Littleton, would have needed his permission to take the Skakel children out of state the day after Moxley was killed.
Littleton testified last week that he was told to take Michael Skakel and other family members out of state after Moxley was killed, but the defense played a tape in which Littleton suggested it was his idea to take the trip.
When Rushton Skakel left the stand, Michael Skakel hugged him and whispered "I love you."
Later Wednesday, hairdresser Matthew Tucciarone testified that an angry Michael Skakel talked about getting a gun and killing somebody while sitting in a barber's chair in 1975 or 1976. When a girl who was with Skakel said, "You can't do that," Skakel replied "Why not, I killed before," Tucciarone said.
Under cross-examination, Sherman questioned why Tucciarone did not bring that information to authorities at the time. Tucciarone said Skakel never said who he planned to shoot.
Also Wednesday, prosecutors presented DNA evidence showing Littleton, an early suspect in the killing, was not the source of a hair found in a sheet used to wrap Moxley's body.
Two scientists testified about the discovery of two hairs on the sheet. Both hairs contained characteristics similar to hair taken form Littleton's hairbrush, they said.
Scientists could only get a DNA sample from one of those hairs, and that sample did not match Littleton, the scientists said. The other hair was Asian, they said.