Witness claims Moxley killer confessed night of murder

By DENISE LAVOIE

Associated Press Writer

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) _ A lawyer for a chief suspect in the Martha Moxley murder investigation has asked prosecutors to investigate claims by a man who says a teen-ager in blood-stained clothes confessed the night of the 1975 killing.

Michael Skakel is a suspect in the Oct. 30, 1975 bludgeoning of 15-year-old Martha Moxley. Michael, who was 15 at the time, and his brother Thomas, then 17, also a suspect, have denied any involvement in Moxley's death.

A source close to the case told The Associated Press Thursday that Skakel's attorney, Michael Sherman, was contacted last week by a man who claims he was approached the night of the murder by a teen-age boy who said, ``I just killed Martha Moxley.'' The source said the man claimed the boy's clothing had blood on it.

Sherman confirmed that he had been contacted by a man who made those claims. He said the man who called him would not identify the teen-age boy who supposedly made the confession, but said it was not Michael or Thomas Skakel.

Sherman said the man also refused to identify himself, but gave him the name of his lawyer.

Sherman outlined the details of two conversations with the man and a separate conversation with the man's attorney in a letter to Bridgeport State's Attorney Jonathan Benedict.

In the letter, delivered to Benedict Thursday, Sherman asks prosecutors to look into the man's claims.

Benedict could not be reached for comment late Thursday.

Sherman said he is skeptical about the man's claims, but turned the information over to Benedict ``for whatever it may be worth.''

``A case of this nature brings out the crackpots and the nuts. This could be one of them, or it could be something truly valid. Everything is worth exploring, and let's just wait and see what happens,'' Sherman said.

Sherman said he met with the man's lawyer Monday to discuss his story. The lawyer, Peter Truebner, did not return telephone calls to his home and office Thursday night.

Sherman said the man offered ``sketchy'' answers when he asked him why he had not come forward until 23 years after the murder.

``He just wasn't terribly clear to me as to why he would hold back this information for so long,'' Sherman said. ``I have a lot of questions.''

Over the years, investigators have received many false tips in the case.

The investigation was revived this spring after a one-man grand jury was appointed and two books were published, including one by former Los Angeles police Detective Mark Fuhrman.