Sean was born in Charleston, SC. As the youngest of three children, it was obvious from the beginning that he held the potential to be something great. Even as a child, he had an irresistible smile to go with the personality big enough to light up any room. He was never judging, and accepted people from all walks of life. Sean was a simple person who left footprints in the hearts of everyone he touched, just one of his many gifts.
Sean was an incredibly strong individual because he was open and honest about whom he was despite the hate. He was a homosexual man, who was quite open about his sexuality and that apparently did not always suit everyone around him. Sean was a retail clerk and a woman wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a religious slogan entered the store where Sean was working when Sean approached the woman to ask if he could help her, she responded by saying, "No we don't like to do business with faggots." This may not be an exact quote but the word faggot was definitely part of her statement of rejection.
Sean told a mutual friend that incidents like this one were a fairly routine occurrence for him. Just think about all your gay friends when you hear young kids describe anything negative or uncool as "gay." When did that word get attached to everything negative? Why is it acceptable for so-called Christians to HATE homosexuals or people they deem different or not fitting into their sexual stereotypes? When did God come down from Heaven and announce that it is acceptable to hate people who love people who are the same sex as they are and you can also discriminate against them and kill them if you want to. Maybe these are the same kind of Christians that also find it acceptable to kill doctors and nurses who perform abortions.
Sean Kennedy said it best in a poem entitled "Grin" he wrote that his mother discovered after his death,
"I stand tall with all of my pride.
You discriminate all who are not like you.
Yes, your words do hurt.
But I stand in the end.
I'm a strong person, bigger than you...
I'll be standing there with a grin."
His friends and family describe him as happy, loving, energetic, personable, friendly, and caring.
Sean's mother message
On May 16, 2007, at about 3:45 am, Sean was leaving a local bar in Greenville, when a car pulled up beside him, a young man got out of the car, came around the car approached my son and called him fagot and then punched him so hard that it broke his face bones, he fell back and hit the asphalt. This resulted in his brain to be separated from his brain stem and ricochet in his head. Sean never had a chance. Sean's killer got back into the car and left my son dying there.
A little later he left a message on one of the girl's phone, who knew Sean saying: "You tell your fagot friend that when he wakes up he owes me $500 for my broken hand".
Sean knew at an early age that he was different. He did not let others know until he was about 17 years old and in high school. One day, after he had just told a few of his friends that he was gay, he came out of school to find the word "Fag" carved into the side of his truck. He was mad and it shock him up but I think it was then that he decided that he would not live in fear - he was going to live life and be there for others.
After that he told me that he was gay. He said: "Mom if you don't want to love me any more, I'll understand." I told him that there is nothing he could ever do to make me stop loving him.
I can't help but remember my son as a person who had a love for life and people and an irresistible smile to go with his personality. Sean loved everybody regardless of whom or what they believed in or stood for. He never judged but was always there to help people, either by listening or giving them whatever they needed (food, a place to stay, clothes, etc)
After his death I found out just how many people Sean had a positive impact on. There were over 700 people at his memorial service.
He was a leader, kind and non-judging, caring and compassionate and loved by so many. He was happy of who he was and stood up for what he believed in. He had reached all the dreams and hopes this mother could ask for and he accomplished this in only 20 years.
Elke Kennedy (Sean's Mother)
Notes and cards may be sent to her by postal mail at: Elke Kennedy, 7 Brandywine Court, Greenville, SC 29615. You may send e-mails to Elke at email@example.com.
Sean's life was tragically taken on May 16, 2007. He was attacked when he was alone in a parking lot and no one was around to help him. He fell backward and struck his head against the curb. He died 17 hours later from severe head trauma. Moller surrendered himself to the authorities on May 18. Kennedy's funeral was held May 20.
One of Sean's last gifts was the gift of life. By donating his vital organs, Sean helped save the lives of 5 people. We hope that his loss will bring positive light into people's hearts and he can continue to help people through his death as he did in his life. We hope you learn from Sean's life and take him with you throughout your life experiences.
18-year old Stephen Andrew Moller, who murdered Sean William Kennedy, was sentenced June 11th to a 5 year suspended sentence to 3 years with 3 years probation after he gets out of jail. He will spend approx. 10 months in jail. After which he is then entitled to parole. If granted he will be on probation for 3 years. He was also sentenced to 30 days community service and ordered to take anger management classes. In addition he was ordered to have alcohol and drug counseling...
South Carolina is one of only four states that has no hate-crime law whatsoever. By contrast, torturing and killing animals in South Carolina carries a sentence of up to five years, with typical sentences ranging from 180 days to five years. Moller will serve about 18 months for killing a gay man. Cockfighting in South Carolina is punishable with sentences ranging from one to three years and/or a $1,000 fine. But Moller kills a gay man and will serve 18 months. Apparently, animals have more worth more in South Carolina than a gay man.
Police have arrested 18-year old Stephen Andrew Moller for his role in the death of 20-year old gay man, Sean William Kennedy.
Mr Kennedy had been leaving Brew's Bar in Greenville County, South Carolina when someone pulled up, yelled an anti-gay epithet and punched him. NBC affiliate WYFF reports: "Deputies said that Kennedy , 20, was walking to his car from Brew's Bar early Wednesday morning when Moller got out of another car and approached Kennedy. Investigators said that Moller made a comment about Kennedy's sexual orientation, and then struck him in the face."
Kennedy fell backward, hit his head and died at a local hospital. Investigators are now consulting with the FBI to see if the attack qualifies as a hate crime: Friends of Kennedy told WYYF News 4 that they think the alleged assault was a hate crime because Kennedy was openly gay.
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office has provided information concerning this case to the FBI, which will make a determination as to whether to proceed with a hate crime investigation. It sure sounds like a hate crime to us. But, who knows? Maybe Moller said just something like, "Die, you fucking maggot!" Unlikely, but possible... Anyway the warrant stated that the act was "a result of the defendant (Moller) not liking the sexual identity of the victim."
Family Points To Transcript Of Call
Kennedy's family said that gay slurs that were used by Moller in a phone call that he made to a friend of Sean Kennedy about 15 minutes after he assaulted Sean, showed that it was a hate crime. This is a transcript of the call that was read in court before Moller's sentence:
"Hey. (laughter) Whoa stop. (laughter) Hey, I was just wondering how your boyfriend's feeling right about now. (laughter) (??) knocked the f--- out. (laughter). The f------ faggot. He ought to never stick his mother-f------ nose (??) Where are you going? Just a minute. (laughter). Yea boy, your boy is knocked out, man. The motherf------. Tell him he owes me $500.00 for breaking my goddamn hand on his teeth, that f------ bitch"
In October of 2007, The Greenville County Solicitors Office announced that Moller's murder charge was going to be reduced to involuntary manslaughter, since there was no malicious intent by the accused.
In November of 2007, Stephen Andrew Moller was released to home detention upon paying a $25,000 bond. He is required to stay with his mother until his trial. The charge of murder was reduced to manslaughter not only because there was no conscious premeditated desire to kill Kennedy, but also because there is no middle step in South Carolina law between murder and manslaughter. Unable to secure a conviction for murder, the trial lawyers opted for manslaughter in order to get the violent activity onto Moller's record. The sentence carries a 0-5 years prison term, and it is likely that Moller will be released for time served.
June 11th, 2008 - About a year and a half, with parole. That's the sentence that Stephen Moller received today for the death of Sean Kennedy.
Sean's mother has already learned that justice, as she sees it, will never be served.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Jim Burroway's and various other articles