NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, who was released from prison last month after he was granted a new trial in the 1975 slaying of a neighbor, has been granted permission to travel to see his son in New York and other relatives in Oregon.
Skakel was ordered to remain in Connecticut unless granted permission to travel outside the state. Court records show Skakel's request on Dec. 9 to visit his son and an earlier request to visit relatives in Oregon for Thanksgiving were granted.
Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, had been in prison more than 11 years on a sentence of 20 years to life. A judge ruled in October that Skakel's trial attorney failed to adequately represent him in 2002 when he was convicted in Martha Moxley's bludgeoning with a golf club in wealthy Greenwich when they were both 15.
Skakel, who must wear a GPS tracking device, requested permission to travel to New York "on a continuing basis" to visit his son, who lives with his mother.
"In other words, the defendant is requesting permission to travel freely to New York, whenever his schedule permits, in order to visit his son, provided he seeks permission from the Office of Probation on each occasion and supplies his probation officer with his precise itinerary," Skakel's attorneys wrote. "As a result of his incarceration, the defendant has had extremely limited contact with his son and still has been unable to see his son since his release."
A judge granted the request, saying Skakel must inform his probation officer of any plans to visit his son and to report upon his return.
In his other motion, Skakel said he has had very limited contact with friends and family "and requests the opportunity to enjoy the company of his family for Thanksgiving Day for the first time in over a decade."
The Connecticut Supreme Court will decide an appeal by prosecutors of the ruling that freed Skakel. The appeal was filed with the state Appellate Court, but a judicial spokeswoman confirmed the state's highest court transferred the case.