Skakel Attorneys Ordered to Identify New Suspects

A judge ordered attorneys for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, convicted in the 1975 murder of a teenage neighbor, to identify two men they say have been implicated in the killing.

Skakel, now 45, is seeking a new trial based on a claim by Gitano "Tony" Bryant, a cousin of basketball star Kobe Bryant, that two of his friends killed 15-year-old Martha Moxley in Greenwich.

Bryant's allegation surfaced in 2003, a year after Skakel was convicted of bludgeoning Moxley with a golf club in their gated neighborhood when they were teens.

The petition for a new trial, filed in Stamford Superior Court, is separate from an appeal Skakel lost in January before the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Prosecutors last year sought the identities and whereabouts of the two men, identified only as "A" and "B" in court papers, so they could respond to the claim and prepare their case.

Skakel's attorneys, Hope Seeley and Hubert Santos, argued that they weren't required to release the names and that prosecutors didn't need the names at this point.

But Superior Court Judge Edward Karazin ruled Tuesday that Skakel's defense must provide the two names to prosecutors by April 17.

"We think it's appropriate that the names be known to us at this point," prosecutor Susann Gill said Friday. "It will help us prepare and respond to the allegations."

Seeley did not immediately return a telephone message left Friday.

Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, is now serving 20 years to life in prison.