Man gets 145 days for throwing punch that killed Beverly teen on Indiana beach
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Sun-Times Media May 16, 2013 10:58PM
James "Jake" Malecek | Provided photo
Updated: June 18, 2013 8:38AM
A DePaul University student was sentenced to 145 days behind bars Thursday after admitting his role in a deadly brawl on a Lake Michigan beach that claimed the life of a Beverly, Ill., teenager.
James “Jake” Malecek will begin serving his jail term for involuntary manslaughter on July 1, his attorney, James Voyles, confirmed in an email hours after a hearing at LaPorte Circuit Court.
As part of the plea deal, Malecek, 20, also was ordered to be on electronic monitoring for nearly four years after his jail stint.
Malecek threw the punch that killed 17-year-old Kevin Kennelly Jr. on the beach at the town of Long Beach on the July 4, 2011, prosecutors said.
Kennelly’s pals told police that Malacek’s sister approached the friends and offered them vodka. One of the boys called her a drunk and told her to scram. She hit him and disappeared back down the beach, then returned with her brother, Malecek, who aimed for the name caller, police said.
Instead, he hit Kennelly hard in the right ear. Kennelly lost consciousness. He died two days later.
Last month, Kennelly’s father, also named Kevin, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the plea was a “slap on the wrist.”
But he added, “... At the same time, any time you go to trial there’s always the possibility one juror thinks, ‘Oh, he seems like a nice boy.’ ”
Kennelly’s parents couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
The slain boy’s uncle, Art Kennelly, on Thursday night described the baseball-loving Mount Carmel High School student, as a “great kid.”
Malecek’s relatives offered their condolences to Kennelly’s relatives in a statement they issued Thursday.
“Jake’s life has been forever altered by this tragedy,” the statement read. “He is deeply remorseful and horribly pain stricken. However, we are confident Jake will spend the rest of his life learning from the events of July 4, 2011, and teaching others about the importance of tolerance, acceptance, peace, and understanding because that is the fundamental nature of Jake Malecek.”