Kennedy sentenced to 18 years for death of Nederland teen

Published 9:43 am Friday, September 11, 2015

Kennedy sentenced to 18 years for death of Nederland teen


By Mary Meaux

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The News staff writer

Rockline Kennedy was sentenced to 18 years in prison and assessed a $10,000 fine for a charge of intoxication manslaughter in the death of a Nederland teen on Friday.

On Tuesday, Kennedy, 65, pleaded guilty to the intoxication manslaughter in the death of Kristin Paris, 18, of Nederland.

Assistant District Attorney Kim Pipkin, who assisted prosecutor Mike Laird, said the state is pleased with the jury’s verdict.

“They did what we asked them to do, for a sentence where he couldn’t get out and hurt anyone else,” Pipkin said. “The family is pleased with the verdict and outcome.”

Kennedy was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 10 in a Chevrolet truck on Jan. 26 when his truck hit Paris’ Chevrolet Cobalt head-on. The teen, a Nederland High School senior, died from injuries received in the crash on Jan. 27.

“This was a tough case for everybody, a very emotional trial,” she said. “You can tell it really affected the jury.”

The jury of seven men and five women delivered the sentence Friday morning.

James Makin, defense attorney, said the incident was a tragedy for both families.

“That’s the danger of driving while intoxicated. You can cause a horrible accident; you can kill someone or injure someone. The Kennedy family’s prayers and wishes go out to the Paris family.”

Kennedy, who was owner of the now closed Dream Street club, has expressed remorse for what happened.

“It has broken him, the gui8lt of taking a young woman’s life,” Makin said. “Several witnesses have described him as a broken, hollow man”

Makin said people should think of the possible consequences before drinking and driving.

“I can assure you he wishes he was the one who died in that wreck and not her,” he said.

Kennedy will be eligible for parole in nine years.


Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews