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CNN Today

Kennedy Relative Arraigned As Juvenile For 1975 Killing of Neighbor

Aired March 14, 2000 - 2:49 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, within the past hour a murder charge was read in Connecticut against an extended member of the Kennedy family, Michael Skakel, the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, arraigned as a juvenile for the 1975 killing of his teenager neighbor Martha Moxley.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick witnessed today's proceedings, she joins us live from outside court in Stamford -- Deborah.

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, Michael Skakel entered the courthouse just before 2:00 o'clock this afternoon. During the arraignment, he sat staring straight ahead. The judge advised him of his rights, then the judge asked whether he had any questions, and he said, "No, not at this time."

Now, the most dramatic moment came as Michael Skakel was leaving the courtroom. He approached Dorthy (ph) Moxley, the mother of the girl that he is accused of killing, and he was not more than three feet away from her when he said, in his words, "I feel your pain, but they got the wrong guy." Now, Mrs. Moxley looked surprised, even flustered. She would not make any statement about his comment to her.

But her son, John (ph), Martha's older brother, the one remaining sibling said that the statement was consist with Skakel's attitude -- the Skakel's family attitude that they are above the law. When asked how long he should get, this is how he replied.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MOXLEY, VICTIM'S BROTHER: We are just doing what the right thing is to do.

QUESTION: And again, the kind of sentence you want to seek?

JOHN MOXLEY, VICTIM'S BROTHER: Maximum. You know, he put us through 25 years of hell, why not, you know, same thing for him?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FEYERICK: Skakel's attorney called his comment to Mrs. Moxley heartfelt. The arraignment just took a few minutes. What was done during the proceedings also, another date was set, that of June 20th, that's when there's going to be a hearing for reasonable cause. At that time, prosecutors will lay out their case and try to convince the judge that this case should be moved from juvenile court, where it's being heard now, to adult superior court. That would mean prosecutors could get a much stiffer penalty if Michael Skakel is convicted.

Reporting live, Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Stamford, Connecticut.

ALLEN: We'll continue to follow that case.

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