More From the Skakel Trial

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Kenneth Littleton testifies in the murder trial of Michael Skakel

They were the innocent thoughts of a teenage girl. In neat writing, and always beginning "Dear Diary", Martha Moxley diligently documented her days, which were not unlike those of many American 15-year-olds. But almost 27 years later, her musings about parties, smoking and boys took on a larger meaning, projected onto the courtroom wall at the sensational trial of her accused murderer, Michael Skakel, 41, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's wife, Ethel.

"Michael was so totally out it (sic) he was being a total ass hole in his actions and words," she said in one haunting entry about Skakel, who was her friend and neighbor in Greenwich, "He kept telling me that I was leading Tom (Skakel's elder brother) on when I don't like him, except as a friend".

The September 17, 1975, entry was read aloud to the court by witness Jackie O'Hara, nee Wettenhall, and the words that followed involved her. "I said, 'Well what about you and Jackie? You keep telling me that you don't like her and you're all over her'. He doesn't understand that he can be nice to her without hanging all over her." Seated on the front bench of the public gallery, two of Skakel's other brothers, Rushton and Stephen, and his sister Julie, listened closely as O'Hara continued. "Michael jumps to conclusions. I can't be friends with Tom. Just because I talk to him, it doesn't mean I like him. I really have to stop going over there."

Two weeks later, Moxley's partly naked, battered body was found under a pine tree on the grounds of her home. She was beaten to death with a golf club after going to the Skakel home with a group of friends. Thomas, a onetime suspect in the case, and Michael, said to have had a crush on the girl, were among the last people to see her alive. The defense has tried to suppress the diary, branding it hearsay. But Judge John Kavanewsky has allowed the entries as they display Moxley's "emotional state of mind".

Clearly annoyed, defense attorney Michael Sherman told the jury the prosecution put O'Hara on the stand to tell them that Moxley flirted with Michael Skakel, part of the prosecution's theory of why he allegedly killed her. "That's what she's here for," he barked. Attempting to counter the testimony about Moxley's flirtations, he asked O'Hara: "Did that lead you to believe that someone was going to be murdered? Did you think "Oh my gosh, something horrible is going to happen?" "No," she replied.

Thursday, prosecutors also called key witness Kenneth Littleton, the Skakels' live-in tutor, to the stand. His voice slowed by a cocktail of six prescription drugs to treat severe manic depression, he methodically recalled the night of the murder.

Skakel, dressed in a gray pinstriped suit, stared at Littleton, as he explained who he'd been upstairs in the Skakel home watching the movie "The French Connection" on TV, but went outside after the family nanny had asked him to investigate a "fracas or noise" outside. "I heard some scuffling in the leaves and it sort of spooked me, to honest with you," he said. Littleton said he had only started work for the Skakels that night, the night before Halloween. He added that when he arrived back at house the next day it was in an uproar with police everywhere. He said he was then asked by Skakel's father Rushton to take Michael and his siblings to a family home in Windham, New York. "When I entered the home there was approximately 10 to 15 men in suits and ties, discussing what I don't know," he said. The prosecution argues that this was the beginning of an elaborate cover up.

Littleton, a psychiatric counselor from Boston, was also a previous suspect. He was granted immunity in return for testifying against Skakel before a grand jury in 1998. Thursday's proceedings leave the jury in recess while the court probes "third party suspect" evidence against Littleton and lays the groundwork for his cross-examination. While Littleton cannot be charged, audio and videotape evidence that he confessed to the murder to his ex-wife could help Skakel's case. "We are looking to introduce evidence that not only did Michael Skakel not commit the crime, but someone else did," says Sherman. The jury will return on Monday.