Nation briefs

Connecticut

New murder trial for Kennedy cousin

HARTFORD — In a stunning reversal, the Connecticut Supreme Court on Friday vacated Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel’s murder conviction and ordered a new trial in connection with a 1975 killing in wealthy Greenwich.

The court issued a 4-3 ruling Friday that Skakel’s trial attorney, Michael Sherman, failed to present evidence of an alibi. The decision reversed the high court’s previous ruling in December 2016 that reinstated Skakel’s conviction after a lower court ordered a new trial, citing mistakes by Sherman.

Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy’s widow, Ethel Kennedy, was convicted of murder in 2002 in the bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley in their wealthy Greenwich neighborhood in 1975, when they were teenagers. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, but was freed on $1.2 million bail after the lower court overturned his murder conviction in 2013.

IOWA

Man who tricked woman loses appeal

DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the felony conviction Friday of a man who tricked a woman into having sex with him by convincing her through social media that he was an old high school friend.

Michael Kelso-Christy, 23, had argued that Iowa law doesn’t outlaw sex by fraud or deception, but he was eventually convicted of burglary, a charge that also can include entering a home with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Prosecutors said he set up a fake Facebook account in April 2015 under the name of the woman’s classmate. Through messages that became sexual, the woman agreed to a sexual encounter wherein the man would arrive at her home while she was blindfolded and restrained. She said the man didn’t speak during the encounter and left her handcuffed.