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Former Schoolmate Says Skakel Confessed to the Murder of Martha Moxley

Aired June 21, 2000 - 2:41 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: The last name is Skakel, but the family is still Kennedy. Michael Skakel, the 39-year-old nephew of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is now in court in Connecticut on charges related to the beating death of a neighbor 25 years ago.

CNN's Deborah Feyerick is in Stamford to cover the hearing for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On cross- examination a former schoolmate of Michael Skakel said he was sure without a doubt that Skakel confessed to him about the murder of Martha Moxley. Gregory Coleman said he was not 99 percent sure, he was 100 percent sure that Skakel had made the incriminating statement.

Now, the defense attorney said that the only reason the schoolmate was here today testifying was in the hopes of either getting his sentence reduced or getting money to help him start a life once he got out of prison. Coleman is now serving several months for a criminal trespassing misdemeanor,

Now, Coleman said that the reason he came forward is because he saw Mrs. Moxley on television and that prompted him to speak out. Coleman also testified about the Elon (ph) School. The two boys both attended that in the late '70s and some of the horrors of what happened there came out on this witness stand.

Coleman said that kids were put into what's called a ring. They were beaten until they were no longer standing or until they said something that the people who were beating them wanted to hear.

One girl apparently was beaten so badly that she had to be airlifted out of that school.

Also on the stand, Andrew Pew (ph), a friend of Michael Skakel's. He said that the two men met up about 15 years after the murder, and when Skakel tried to rekindle the friendship, Pew said he couldn't do that, because he thought Michael had somehow been involved with the murder of Martha Moxley. That's when he says Skakel told him that he was in a tree that night fondling himself, but he said Skakel told him he had nothing to do with the murder.

Deborah Feyerick, CNN, Stamford, Connecticut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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