Kennedy cousin Skakel poised for freedom in 1975 killing while he awaits new trial

Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel is expected to get his first taste of freedom in more than 11 years while prosecutors appeal a ruling granting him a new trial in the 1975 slaying of a neighbor.

Skakel's bond hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Stamford Superior Court. Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, has been serving 20 years to life in the death of Martha Moxley.

Robert Kennedy Jr. said this week that he feels "pure joy" over the prospect of his cousin being released.

Judge Thomas Bishop ruled last month that Skakel's trial attorney failed to adequately represent Skakel in 2002 when he was convicted in Moxley's bludgeoning with a golf club in wealthy Greenwich when they were 15.

Moxley's mother, Dorthy, has said she remains convinced Skakel is guilty.