Kennedy doesn’t see break; will serve time consecutively

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By Susan Sharp

After serving less than two weeks, Robert Kennedy is asking his sentence for criminally negligent homicide be amended.

In January, he was sentenced to serve 109 days behind bars for the death of his stepdaughter, Brittany Gardener.

The girl died when she fell from a vehicle being driven by Kennedy.

She was 9- years- old at the time.

Appearing in court Monday, shackled at his feet and hands, Kennedy asked the court to let him serve his sentence on weekends.

His reason was he had a job and needed to be there during the week.

Senior Assistant District Attorney General Mike Ripley told the court this was the first mention of Kennedy having a job. He had failed to mention this before, Ripley said.

In fact, Kennedy had deemed himself self- employed prior to sentencing.

Dancing around a straight answer, Kennedy failed to clarify why he had said that.

He is an independent contractor working for a local company, said Keith Hatfield, Kennedy’s attorney said.

“I want people working if they can work,” Criminal Court Judge Shayne Sexton said adding it should be legal employment.

He then said Kennedy had failed to prove he had a job. Under this, Kennedy will continue to serve his sentence as it stands- not just on weekends.

Ripley also said Kennedy had been accused of threatening members of the victim’s family.

Kathy Sue Faulkner, Gardener’s grandmother, testified Kennedy threatened her daughter, Emma Jean Gardner.

She is the victim’s mother and has a child with Kennedy, Faulkner said.

According to her, Kennedy said he would kill her if she failed to let him see their child. Faulkner went on to allege he had made a similar statement to the child.

Hatfield began his line of questioning by asking her if she had wanted Kennedy “to go away for a long time.”

Faulkner agreed saying, “She (Brittany) was not only my granddaughter, she was my friend.”

“That is why you are up on that stand now,” Hatfield said adding a hearing in that case was set for Wednesday.

Sexton ruled the threat allegations would be addressed by another court later in the week.