STAMFORD, Conn. -- More than 11 years after he was convicted of murdering his Greenwich neighbor, Michael Skakel walked out of a Stamford courthouse Thursday after posting bond.
Skakel's conviction in 2002 of killing Martha Moxley in 1975 when both were teenagers was vacated last week and a new trial ordered. A judge set bond at $1.2 million in a hearing earlier Thursday, and it was paid in the afternoon.
Skakel, now 53, walked out of the Stamford Superior Courthouse with his defense attorney Hubert Santos.
"The first great tragedy occurred in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1975 -- a great tragedy for the Moxley family and for everyone else associated with the matter," Santos said before television cameras.
"The second great tragedy occurred in a courthouse in Norwalk, Connecticut, in 2002, when Michael was convicted of the murder of Martha Moxley, a murder he did not commit.
"And hopefully we are at the first step of righting that wrong and making sure an innocent man now goes free," Santos said.
A few people yelled from the small crowd -- "Congratulations Michael" and "We love you, Michael."
Skakel's conviction was vacated because his defense attorney failed to provide adequate legal representation in his trial.
According to ABC News , Skakel must live in Connecticut and wear a GPS tracking device. He was ordered to have no contact with the Moxley family.
The Skakel family released a written statement.
"This is the first step in correcting a terrible wrong. We look forward to Michael being vindicated and justice finally being served.
"We are thankful to God that after 11 and one half years he will be reunited with his son. We are grateful for the love and prayers of Michael's many supporters who have sustained him through this ordeal," the statement from the family said.
"Kennedy cousin" Michael Skakel is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the wife of the late U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy.
Skakel has served about half his 20 years to life prison sentence in the killing his neighbor, Martha Moxley, when both were 15 years old.
Her body was found underneath a tree in her family's Greenwich backyard on Oct. 31, 1975. Pieces of a broken six-iron golf club were found near her body, and an autopsy showed she had been both bludgeoned and stabbed with the club, which was traced back to the neighboring Skakel home.
For more about the new trial ordered for Skakel, check this story on The Daily Voice.
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