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Couple stole mementos from Parkland school memorial, deputies say

Deputies found dozens of items from Stoneman Douglas in couple's back seat

PARKLAND, Fla. – A man and woman were arrested Sunday after deputies said they stole dozens of mementos from outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

Michael Kennedy, 37, of Hollywood, and Kara O'Neil, 40, of Fulton, New York, each face a charge of suspicion of removing or disfiguring a tomb or a monument, which is a felony.

According to the arrest report, witnesses saw Kennedy and O'Neil taking items from the memorial late Sunday outside the Parkland school and contacted authorities.



Deputies searched Kennedy and O'Neil's car and found several items -- including teddy bears, plaques and pin wheels -- from the Stoneman Douglas memorial in the back seat, the report said.

Kennedy appeared in bond court on Monday and argued that the Stoneman Douglas memorial was not a tomb or monument, but the judge disagreed.

"A fence is not a monument," Kennedy said.

Consisting of crosses, flowers, pictures and other items, the memorial was erected shortly after 17 people were killed and more than a dozen others were wounded at the Parkland school on Feb. 14.

At least one Stoneman Douglas student reacted to the news Monday on Twitter.

"How disrespectful can you be to do this? This is disgusting," Carmen Lo wrote. "First my friends are robbed of life less than 200 feet away from this memorial and now people won't even let them Rest In Peace? MY FRIENDS ARE GRIEVING and these people are looking for gains."