NORWALK, Conn. — A former Kennedy family baby-sitter testified Thursday that she had no recollection of a party at which Michael Skakel allegedly made a joking reference to killing 15-year-old Martha Moxley.
A prosecution witness testified earlier that Marissa Verrochi was among the friends at his home in 1997 when Skakel referred humorously to the 1975 beating death.
But Verrochi, 24, said she did not recall the party. Defense attorney Michael Sherman repeatedly asked whether Skakel had ever confessed to her, but prosecutors objected and she did not answer.
Verrochi, under questioning from prosecutors, said that Skakel had befriended her and taken her under his wing during another Kennedy family scandal when she was 15--her alleged underage affair with Skakel's cousin Michael Kennedy.
Skakel, 41, was the main contact for prosecutors investigating Kennedy, who died in a Colorado skiing accident. Kennedy was never charged.
Skakel, a nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel, is charged with beating Moxley to death with a golf club in 1975. The families were neighbors in wealthy Greenwich.
The defense also called three witnesses who attended a substance abuse treatment facility in Maine with Skakel in the late 1970s. Prosecutors had presented two Elan School students who alleged Skakel confessed, and others who said he told them he didn't know if he had killed Moxley because he was so drunk.
The former students testified Thursday that Skakel never confessed despite being repeatedly beaten and spanked with a board when confronted about Moxley's murder as part of school discipline.
Skakel would deny the killing until he was put in a makeshift boxing ring with other students, Sarah Petersen said.
Earlier Thursday, the trial was delayed so the judge could ask jurors whether they had discussed a remark about the defendant made by a panel member.
A juror said he saw Skakel mouth the words "good job" to his cousin James Dowdle during a break in Dowdle's testimony on Wednesday. The juror mentioned what he had seen as the panel was headed to the break room and his comments were reported to a courtroom marshal by an alternate juror.
The judge has repeatedly directed the jurors not to discuss the case with anyone.
The juror told the judge Thursday he placed no significance on Skakel's remark. Other panel members said they did not hear the remark and the judge allowed the juror to remain.