Court Reinstates Kennedy Cousin's Murder Conviction

Michael Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, may return to prison after the Connecticut Supreme Court reinstated his conviction in the 1975 killing of his neighbor.
5:30 | 01/02/17

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Transcript for Court Reinstates Kennedy Cousin's Murder Conviction
We begin with that new twist for Kennedy cousin Michael skakel who may be heading back on murder charges following the killing of his neighbor Amy. You have new details on why the court is reinstating his conviction. He spent ten years behind bars for the murder of Martha Moxley. Now he is facing this new court ruling, just the latest wrinkle in a four decade long saga. This morning, Kennedy cousin Michael skakel is once again a convicted murderer. The Connecticut supreme court reinstating his conviction for the 1975 murder of Martha Moxley, skakel's 15-year-old neighbor who found dead, brutally beaten with a golf club belonging to the skakel family. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in 2002. After serving over ten years in prison, a judge threw out that conviction in 2013. I'm going to set a bond of $1 million. Reporter: Ruling that skakel's original defense attorney, Mickey Sherman, botched his defense, a finding the state supreme court now disagrees with. Of course I feel vindicated. I always knew that I did a decent job. Reporter: One of skakel's strongest advocates, his cousin, Robert Kennedy junior. He didn't get a fair trial and he's not guilty. Reporter: Skakel as always maintained his innocence. What I do every day is pray to god and to Martha that whoever did this crime is brought to justice. Reporter: But Moxley's family says they believe the jury got it right in 2002. This morning her brother telling ABC news, we are happy with the decision and appreciative as always with the effort the state of Connecticut has put into this. Now skakel's current lawyer is hoping to keep his 56-year-old client out of prison while they consider whether to appeal again. Michael skakel is a man of great faith and I think he'll use his spirituality to come pose himself in a way that makes him available to counsel and helpful to us in moving forward and deciding what our next steps are going to be. Skakel has been living with an elderly relative in the suburb of New York since being released on that $1.2 million bond. Let's talk to Nancy grace. Nancy, you've been covering this trial for a long time. We know skakel's new attorney is not going to give up keeping his out of prison. Will he succeed? I think that temporarily he may succeed, but I don't think it will work in the end. And when I hear that skakel has always maintained his innocence, publicly yes, but according to prosecutors, there may be up to 11 different confessions. Most importantly, the handful that came in at the trial, including several that he made at a reform school after the murder, as well as to a driver, maybe even a barber. And that weighed very heavily on the juror's minds, so he hasn't necessarily always maintained his innocence. Those so-called confessions go from saying I murdered her to I murdered her I'm going to get away with it because I'm a Kennedy to I don't know what happened that night, maybe I did it. That's pretty damming evidence. When his conviction was overturned in 2013, a new trial was ordered but never happened. Does this new ruling cancel any prospect of a new trial? No. I think that it's very possible this will go up on another appeal. In the end, I think that he will go back to jail. There may not even be a new trial. And I think the defense is going to use every trick in the book, as they should. He has a right to every avenue under the law, but I can tell you this much, having tried so many cases I can't even count them, all of them felonies, the victim's mother, Martha Moxley is the victim, her mother Dorothy wants justice. And having sat through every single proceeding, she is convinced that Thomas skakel, the Kennedy relative, is the killer. I cannot imagine why the victim's mother would want someone not guilty behind bars. I find that very probative, as did a jury. Remember, a jury has heard this and voted guilty. Amazing that this has been going on now for, what, almost 40 years, more than 40 years. It's crazy. What kind of toll does this take on the family? Yeah, because this happened -- oh, can you even imagine? It's like it never ends. This happened in 1975. Martha Moxley, then 15 years old, was found bludgeoned dead with a golf club from the skakel home, and somebody took the S off the golf club. They did not want it associated to the skakels. Who else would care about that other than a skakel? She was found the next morning, and even then skakel, Michael skakel said he lied because he thought he would be framed for murder. Now, how would he know that at age 15 that he was going to be framed for murder? And not only that, he placed himself at the scene by blaming he master baited at the scene to maybe cover up any evidence there. That weighed against him and now all these years later back in court. Nancy grace, thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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