Skakel granted request to relocate GPS device

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, who was released from prison last year after he was granted a new trial in the 1975 slaying of a neighbor, has received approval to have a GPS tracking device temporarily relocated from his ankle while he attends his son's ski competition.

During an earlier ski competition this month, Skakel was unable to accompany his son up the mountain with other parents because his ankle couldn't fit in the ski boot with the bracelet, his attorneys said in court papers. As a result, they said he was required to hike up the mountain alone, which took two to three hours and induced an asthma attack.

"Thankfully, the defendant had his inhaler, otherwise very serious consequences could have resulted while he was alone on a mountain," Skakel's attorneys wrote.

When he reached the peak, Skakel received a message from the GPS monitoring company that the charge on his anklet was low and that he would need to return to the lodge to charge it.

"As a result, the defendant spent the vast majority of his time away from his son, rather than supporting and coaching him, even after having charged the device for the entire previous night and for one hour prior to scaling the mountain," his attorneys wrote.

Skakel received approval to have probation officials relocate the bracelet on his body later this month so he can ski alongside his son, who is competing in state championships at Lake Placid and high school championships.

"The defendant would like to be able to provide his son with the proper parental support and coaching during these competitions without inducing another asthma attack or a more serious condition,'" Skakel's attorneys wrote.

Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, had been in prison more than 11 years on a sentence of 20 years to life. A judge ruled in October that Skakel's trial attorney failed to adequately represent him in 2002 when he was convicted in Martha Moxley's bludgeoning with a golf club in wealthy Greenwich when they were both 15.

Prosecutors are appealing the ruling granting him a new trial.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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