COLUMBIA, S.C. — This morning the South Carolina Parole Board denied early parole for Stephen Andrew Moller, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the May 2007 death of openly gay Sean Kennedy.
Moller will serve the rest of his sentence and be released July 7, 2009. His original release date had early been moved up from September 2009.
Beth Sherouse, a member of the Sean’s Last Wish foundation’s board of directors said 15-20 people attended the board hearing in support of the Kennedy family. She wasn’t sure what the final board vote was, as attendees were asked to leave the room. “They made the decision very quickly, though,” she said. “It came back in a matter of only two or three minutes.”
On Tuesday evening, approximately 100-130 people gathered at the South Carolina State Capitol for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sean.
“The Kennedy family would like to thank all the people and media that have worked so hard to bring this issue to light,” a statement from Sean’s Last Wish foundation read. “Your help has some brought justice to Sean’s memory.”
Elke Kennedy, Sean’s mother, had taken concerns over the possible early parole to the community. In January, she urged community members to send letters against Moller’s early release to the South Carolina Parole Board.
It’s gratifying that our letters and vigils are beginning to have some effect on officialdom in SC. Our opponents and the ancient/medieval mythologies that fuel their hatreds are dying every day, and we must work to see that the new world that replaces them is different and better.
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