Suspect In Fatal Beating Of Mt. Carmel Student Turns Himself In

Updated 07/07/11 – 3:29 p.m.

LONG BEACH, Ind. (CBS) — A 19-year-old man charged in the beating death of a Beverly teenager at a beach in northwest Indiana has turned himself in to police.

James Malecek, 19, turned himself in at the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Sheriff’s Dept. Maj. Gary Broling. Malecek was accompanied by his attorney.

He had been wanted on an arrest warrant, charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated battery, and battery in the death of Kevin Kennelly Jr., 17, of the 9900 block of South Damen Avenue.

The arrest warrant for Malecek carried a $25,000 bond. Police said he posted bond and was released at about 2:45 p.m.

Malecek was scheduled to appear before a LaPorte County Superior Court judge at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, July 14.

kevin kennelly 0706 Suspect In Fatal Beating Of Mt. Carmel Student Turns Himself In

Kevin Kennelly Jr., 17, died on July 6, 2011, two days after he was beaten at the beach in Long Beach, Ind. (Photo Credit: Mount Carmel High School)

Kennelly died Wednesday morning, two days after police found him unconscious at the beach in Long Beach, Ind., surrounded by a group of people.

Police said Kennelly intervened in a fight on the beach on Monday. Malecek allegedly hit Kennelly in the head during the fight.

Kennelly initially was taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Michigan City, and was later flown to St. Anthony Hospital in Crown Point, due to the severity of his injuries. He died there at about 11 a.m. Wednesday.

An autopsy on Thursday determined Kennelly died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Kennelly attended Mount Carmel High School, where he would have been a senior this fall and where was on the varsity baseball and soccer teams.

Police said that no one else was being sought in connection with Kennelly’s death, but said the investigation remains open.

Kennelly’s father, Kevin Sr., is a Chicago Fire Department captain who survived a fall in May 2009, when a set of stairs collapsed under him and another firefighter while battling a fire in the Englewood neighborhood.

According to the Mt. Carmel website, visitation for Kennelly will be held from 4 p.m to 8 p.m. on Friday at Mount Carmel Convocation Center, 6410 S. Dante Av.

A funeral will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Barnabas Parish, 10134 S. Longwood Dr., followed by burial at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Kennelly’s name to Mount Carmel High School.

  • Civilized

    HAAAAAA! That’s one light, Chinese looking black thug. lol

    All the racist rednecks jumping to conclusions can now eat crow. I don’t really blame you for thinking he was black though but I do blame you for jumping to conclusions and making all the unecessary racist remarks.

    • Matt

      You’re Going To Always See Those…..That What They Do,Hide Behind A Computer Screen, It Called The New K.K.K.

  • MIss Stella

    R-I-P – Kevin. Know that there are a lot of people hoping justice will be served upon that animal

    • duh

      Get the facts right idiot. It was self defense.

      • pacman712

        Not self-defense when the coward hit him from behind. And it was a lucky punch because the suspect is a punk.

    • Indian

      I thgohut finding this would be so arduous but it’s a breeze!

  • Cheryl McClinton

    My prayers are with Kevin’s family. A young man trying to do the right thing and loses his life.

  • Injustice

    The kid was defending his sister against a white trash mob. I don’t blame him for swinging away at anyone near him. I would have done the same. The kid should be released for self defense. The other kids should be charged with felony murder. The prosecutor just has his head stuck up his azz. This is an injustice.

    • Agreed

      This is the true story… the mount carmel kids were making racist remarks towards his sister, i would have done the same

  • Pamela Cambria

    We all need to Pray for Kevin and his Family, right now! Who gave this soo-called Mr. Muscle Man the right to swing at a young man! Does not matter who is wrong and who is right! This is a wonderful young man who’s life was just getting started! And now Kevins Parents have to deal with this, and ask why is my Son Kevin not Here with us Anymore! This Guy needs to be punished to the fulliest! What A Wonderful Family and Kevin will be Looking Down on Them High Above Up In Heaven! Prayers are With all of You! and To The Entire Beverly Community! Rest In Peace Kevin Kennelly Jr. We All Love and Will Miss You!

  • unknown

    God bless kevin and his family, but until we get our facts straight i recommend that no one jumps to any conclusions.

  • pacman712

    Yes – people from Beverly are white trash – right! Good one!

  • anotherparent

    This is an underage drinking tragedy. Listen to the teen who made the 911 call. Kennelly was extremely drunk and no one wanted to make the call because they were all underage and drinking. Houser and Hernandez (Mt. Carmel) were the instigators and fled the scene. Did Kennelly grab Malecek from behind during a verbal altercation? The story, no matter the details, will be heartbreaking.

  • Jim Sullivan

    I just think it is sad. I would bet Malacek is basically a good young man. They were all drinking. They were young boys who get riled up and fight. This is an example of why we try to teach young men the art of self control, and how to defuse rather than accelerate conflict situations. Sadly, if punches are thrown, if violence starts, sometimes the outcome is tragic beyond what any one would have imagined. I can’t believe sometimes the kind of smart ass comments people leave under stories like this. Have they never done anything dumb that might have killed someone? “He who is without sin may cast the first stone” people. I strongly doubt the world will be a better place if we put malacek in prison.

    • pacman712

      The victims parents did not deserve to lose a kid. If the victim was trying to break up a fight, accident or not, the suspect deserves to pay. I doubt very much if it were your son whether you would turn the other cheek.

      • anotherparent

        It _is_ a horrible tragedy. I don’t believe the Kennelly’s have to turn their cheek. I do believe the court will hand down some sort of punishment, as every court has in the past in “fatal blow” cases.

        What )has_ happened here is that the media has endorsed Kennelly’s friends’ story that Kennelly was trying to break up a fight. But the details are not forthcoming. Malecek a lone male in a verbal argument w/the Mt. Carmel kids _after_ they pushed his sister down. Kennelly drunkenly throws his arms around Kennelly before anyone has touched each other. What would you consider an appropriate action by Malecek? Again, alcohol-enhanced all around … did it look like Kennellys was trying to hold him down for his friend’s to hit Malecek.

        This is HEARTBREAKING.

  • pacman712

    I don’t know all the details in this like yourself. I do know what you can and cannot do in a self-defense situation – which is you cannot attack another person who is not the threat. You are only allowed to use the force necessary to free yourself from the threat. Now if you are paniced and turn around and sucker punch a bystander by accident – you are still liable for the damage you cause. Malecek doesn’t look like much of a fighter to me. So whether the victim hit his head on something, or had a weakness that went when he was hit, it still does not give the suspect a pass on the outcome.

    • anotherparent

      I’ve surfed the media and legal databases. Rarely do you see someone getting a “pass” in single, fatal blow cases. In cases like these, with heartbreaking stories, usually the judge commiserates but issues a sentence, because one of his responsibilities is to issue a sentence that will serve as a deterrent.

      I have many questions and my details are 2nd hand, via the beach crowd who have all made statements. My first question is, when does someone “intervening” by grabbing you in a conflict situation become a threat? And if they hail from the opposing side and grab you, are they a bystander?

      Malecek’s not a fighter, you are correct. He’s an easy going kid, who would have been shocked (rather than outraged) to hear an ethnic slur … he wouldn’t have encountered that in a long time. He was raised in a diverse grade school and is very popular at Loyola Academy.

      Again, this is an underage drinking tragedy.

      • pacman712

        You are correct – most judges do consider the outcome, damage, and whether the conflict could have been avoided when they pass judgement.

        I have to have more details. If the victim walked up and grabbed him saying “break it up” and was sucker punched – then the suspect would still be considered the aggressor. One of the main things that will be considered was whether the suspect was in danger. Unfortunately, if he made a mistake and sucker punched the wrong guy and was not in danger then he will be judged accordingly.

        I know from my years boxing that some people had weak heads. Unfortunately, you usually don’t know about it until you receive a direct blow and you go into a coma. In a court of law having a weakness like this does not count – only the actions of the people involved are considered.

  • anotherparent

    Thanks, pacman – this has been informative exchange. I pray for both families everyday.

    Parenting a teen is 70% luck. The scene on the beach is palpable. It could have been any of our children.

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