Bryant Cousin Gives Moxley Murder New Twist

ByABC News via logo
September 7, 2003, 10:28 PM

Sept. 8 -- A former schoolmate of Michael Skakel says he has been hiding a terrible secret for more than 25 years.

Gitano "Tony" Bryant, a cousin of Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant, says he has known who killed 15-year-old Martha Moxley since the night of the grisly murder in 1975. And he claims that Michael Skakel, the Kennedy cousin convicted of the crime, had nothing to do with it.

"I am not seeking the limelight," Bryant said over the weekend. "I have a family to protect, but I also had to tell the truth, and I know Michael Skakel did not do this."

Bryant, now a businessman in Miami, Fla., says Skakel didn't commit the murder, and that two of his childhood friends did. Bryant did not publicly identify his friends.

The Hartford Courant reported today that one of the two men denied Bryant's account and said he had nothing to do with Moxley's death.

Skakel's new defense attorney, Hope Seeley, said Skakel will seek a new trialbased on the information from Bryant, whose basketball star cousin was charged with sexual assault in July.

A 30-Year-Old Mystery

When a court convicted Skakel of murder last summer and sentenced him to 20 years to life, it seemed to lay to rest a nearly 30-year-old mystery that had haunted Connecticut's elite in the wealthy town of Greenwich.

Moxley was savagely beaten to death in her posh Greenwich, Conn., neighborhood. Her body was found in the early hours of Oct. 31, 1975, on her family's Greenwich estate. Police said the girl was beaten to death with a golf club from the Skakel home, which was next door to the Moxley house.

For years, it was widely speculated that the attacker had been her neighbor, a then-teenage Michael Skakel, the nephew of Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel.Prosecutors convinced jurors in June, 2002, that Skakel, who was also 15 at the time of the murder, had been competing with his brother Thomas for Moxley's affections and that Michael clubbed the girl to death when she rejected his sexual advances.