Skakel Trial Focuses on Former Suspect

Prosecutors at the murder trial of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel sought Tuesday to show that a family tutor once considered a suspect in Martha Moxley's death never confessed to the crime.

Skakel and Moxley were both 15 when she was beaten to death with a golf club and stabbed through the neck with the broken shaft. The slaying happened Oct. 30, 1975, the night after tutor Kenneth Littleton moved into the Skakel household.

On the stand Monday, Littleton made conflicting statements. Asked about a drunken conversation he allegedly had in 1984, he said he once told his ex-wife he had stabbed Moxley. But he also testified he didn't kill the girl.

On Tuesday, the ex-wife, Mary Baker, testified that Littleton never confessed to the crime. She said she was working with investigators when she falsely told Littleton he had confessed during a blackout and had graphically described the murder. At the time, Littleton was a suspect in Moxley's murder and police were hoping he might make incriminating statements if prompted.

Baker also read a lengthy transcript of a secretly recorded conversation she had with her former husband in 1992 at the behest of investigators.

In that conversation, Littleton repeatedly denied having anything to do with the killing.

"I never ever hurt a woman or child in my life," he said, according to the transcript. "That night I was perfectly sane and I was perfectly normal. I know I didn't kill the girl."

Littleton told Baker any notion that he killed Moxley was "highly illogical."

"I'm alone, my first night in a house that I don't know. ... I am gonna wander out, meet some girl, you know, find a golf club. ... There's got to be blood all over the clothes, get rid of the clothes, somehow during the night?" according to the transcript.

Skakel's attorney, Michael Sherman, estimated Baker had taped about 300 conversations and pressed her for an explanation.

"Why would you do that? This is the father of your children," Sherman said. "They have no evidence against him."

Baker said she had hoped the tapes would exonerate Littleton, but added that if he was the killer, that he'd be held accountable.

"So you thought he might be guilty," Sherman said.

"No, I did not," she replied.

Meanwhile, the prosecution saidt Thomas Skakel, another early suspect in the killing, will not be called to testify against his younger brother.

The action follows last week's revelation in court that police had once sought an arrest warrant for Thomas Skakel in Moxley's slaying. At the time, prosecutors rejected the request, saying there was not enough evidence.

Sherman said it is possible that Thomas Skakel, who was 17 when the slaying occurred, could be called as a defense witness. The brothers, nephews of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, were among the last people seen with Moxley the night she was killed.