Kennedy cousin on trial for killing

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Defence lawyers are hoping for a large turn-out of Kennedy clan members when the murder trial of Michael Skakel begins in Norwalk, Connecticut, this morning.

Mr Skakel, 41, is the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of the late BobbyKennedy. He is charged with murdering his childhood friend, Martha Moxley, when he and the victim were 15 years old and were neighbours in an exclusive enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut.

Ms Moxley was bludgeoned to death on the lawn of her home on an October night in 1975. The murder weapon, a golf club, was found to belong to Mr Skakel's mother.

Prosecutors have little scientific evidence and will rely heavily on witnesses who say they heard Mr Skakel confess to the crime while attending a school for troubled teenagers.

Mrs Kennedy is among family members who may attend parts of the trial. Courtney Kennedy, a first cousin of Mr Skakel, is expected to appear as a defence character witness.