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Mt. Carmel student killed intervening in Indiana beach fight


Kevin Kennelly

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Updated: July 7, 2011 4:41AM

A 17-year-old Beverly boy who was severely beaten after he intervened in a Fourth of July brawl at an Indiana beach died Wednesday from his injuries, authorities said.

A 19-year-old Chicago man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony aggravated battery and battery in connection with the death of Kevin Kennelly, authorities said.

Kennelly, of the 9900 block of South Damen, was pronounced dead at 10:48 a.m. Wednesday at St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point, Ind., an investigator with the Lake County medical examiner’s office said.

An autopsy was scheduled for today .

Kennelly intervened in a fight Monday evening on a beach in Long Beach, Ind., police said.

An arrest warrant has been issued for James Kieffer Malecek, of Chicago, in connection with Kennelly’s death. Malecek was charged with felony involuntary manslaughter, felony aggravated battery and battery Wednesday morning at the Superior Courthouse in Michigan City, Ind., Chief Deputy Prosecutor Robert Neary said. A $25,000 cash bond was attached to Malecek’s warrant, which was approved by Judge Steven King, Neary said. Malecek would have to post that amount if he is arrested.

During the warrant hearing, Long Beach Police Chief Robert Sulkowski testified that Malecek hit Kennelly in the head during the fight.

A phone call to the Kennelly home was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Kennelly attended Mount Carmel High School, where he would have been a senior this fall. He played for the varsity baseball team this spring.

His father, also named Kevin, is a Chicago firefighter who survived a fall in a burning building in 2009.

Kennelly graduated from St. Barnabas Grade School. He and his family are parishioners at St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Beverly, where a prayer service was held Tuesday night, the Rev. William Malloy said.

“About 500 people were here for a prayer service. He was well-liked, absolutely, and he’s a leader with many, many friends. Most of the 500 were young people. It was a beautiful ceremony,” Malloy said.

The Mount Carmel lacrosse team posted a request for prayers on its Facebook page even though Kennelly was not a member of the team.

“We support everybody in our Mount Carmel family,” lacrosse coach David Ho said. “Our prayers and thoughts are with” the Kennelly family.

Contributing: Casey Toner, Phil Arvia and Tony Baranek

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