Michael Skakel, a nephew of the late Robert F. Kennedy, returned to Connecticut today to answer charges that he killed a childhood friend 24 years ago in a sensational — and unsolved — case. The victim, 15-year-old Martha Moxley, was beaten to death with a golf club on the night of Oct. 30, 1975. Skakel, who was also 15 at the time, is the son of Rushton Skakel Sr., brother of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of the late U.S. Senator. The Skakels were neighbors of the Moxleys in Greenwich, Conn., at the time of the brutal killing. No one has ever been arrested in the case. Skakel, now 39, has long been a suspect and became the focus of a probe in 1998 when Superior Court Judge George Thim began investigating the case as the appointed one-man grand jury. According to court papers, Skakel admitted to the murder of Moxley when he lived at a school for students with emotional or behavioral problems from 1978 to 1980. Skakel’s attorney, Michael Sherman, says his client is innocent but that he prepared him for the possibility of arrest. He will likely be prosecuted in juvenille court for the crime.

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