Man Who Threw Fatal Punch at Beach Party Ordered Back to Jail

Judge said James Malecek, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Kevin Kennelly, violated his sentencing agreement

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    A college student convicted of fatally beating a Chicago teen has been sent back to jail. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Friday, Jul 25, 2014)

    The man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2011 death of a Chicago teenager in Long Beach, Indiana, was ordered back to jail Friday for 40 days for violating his sentencing agreement.

    A judge said James Malecek repeatedly violated his G.P.S. monitoring agreement and even attended a Cubs game with his girlfriend in April, posting pictures on Facebook.

    Malecek was immediately handcuffed in the courtroom and led back to the same LaPorte County jail where he spent three months last summer as part of his sentence for killing Mt. Carmel High School student Kevin Kennelly with one punch during an alcohol-fueled July 4th skirmish.

    Malecek "was given a chance, and he violated that and should suffer the consequences," prosecutor Rob Neery told the judge.

    Student Felon May Have Violated Sentencing Agreement

    [CHI] Student Felon May Have Violated Sentencing Agreement
    Court records show Jake Malecek -- convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a teen -- has been doing much more than just attending work and school. Dick Johnson reports for NBC 5 Investigates. (Published Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014)

    A letter from the company assigned to keep track of Malecek cited him earlier this year for attending a birthday party for a friend "at, or near the Chase Tower" in Chicago on April 11 where alcohol was served, in violation of his sentencing agreement.

    "We weren't looking to have him retried for his crime," Kennelly's father, Kevin, said. "It was just to have the sentence enforced that was passed down last May of 2013."

    During the July 4th weekend in 2011, Kennelly and several friends became involved in an alcohol-fueled altercation with another group of teenagers at a beach in Long Beach, Ind. One was Malecek, who had just graduated from Loyola Academy in north suburban Wilmette.

    During the altercation Malecek threw one swift "sucker punch" -- as the local police chief later described it -- killing Kennelly.

    Man Sentenced For Throwing Fatal Beach Party Punch

    [CHI] Man Sentenced For Throwing Fatal Beach Party Punch
    James Malecek, 19, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 145 days in jail. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Thursday, May 16, 2013)

    Malecek was ultimately convicted of involuntary manslaughter nearly two years later, in May of 2013 - just four days before he turned 21 years old.

    He was sentenced by La Porte County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Alevizos to three months in the county jail, followed by almost four years of strict G.P.S. monitoring or, as one law enforcement expert calls it, "prison without the jail cell."

    The court order stipulated that Malecek adhere to a nightly curfew of 8 p.m. and it allowed him to go only to his job and to attend classes and related activities at DePaul University.

    At the time of the sentencing the judge told Malecek he was being given a "gift," adding that the sentence "could have been much worse." The judge advised him to do something with his life "for the greater good."

    Victim's Father On Malecek Plea Deal: "He's Been Given a Gift"

    [CHI] Victim's Father On Malecek Plea Deal: "He's Been Given a Gift"
    The family of a man who died after suffer a fatal blow in a beach fight nearly two years ago aren't happy with the plea deal given to the man who threw the punch. (Published Thursday, May 16, 2013)

    After the 40 days in jail, Malecek will again be placed on electronic monitoring.

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