ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A man will spend 18 years in prison after a jury found him guilty Thursday in a hit-and-run from 2016 that killed a Stony Point High teacher and coach.
Javier Morales-Ramirez, 34, was convicted Thursday on an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge, to which he initially pleaded not guilty.
Just before 11 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2016, police say Morales-Ramirez hit Sean Kelley, 43, on Main Street in Round Rock and left the scene.
Police linked Morales-Ramirez to another hit-and-run that happened minutes before the one that killed Kelley.
Kelley had worked for the Round Rock Independent School District since 2002. He taught special education and coached cross country, tennis and soccer over the years.
Kelley’s mother, Mary, took the stand Friday and spoke to Morales-Ramirez after he learned his sentence. She began her comments by saying, “Finally, finally, finally I get to speak directly to you.” She fought back tears at times and asked Morales-Ramirez to look at her, but he never did. She told him that he took her son away from his beloved rescue dog, his two-year-old niece, his many friends and, most importantly, his students.
“It may not make much sense to many people, but that man killed my son,” Mary Kelley said. “I’ve had those words ready for him for 22 months.”
She and some of her son’s close friends and former coworkers embraced outside the courtroom Friday. Mary told KXAN that she and her husband, Mike, would work to keep their son’s legacy alive through the Sean Kelley Memorial Scholarship fund, which was set up following his death through the Round Rock ISD Partners in Education Foundation.
The foundation said Friday that more than $35,000 has been collected for the scholarship fund. To date $12,000 in five scholarships have been provided to Stony Point graduating seniors to further their education. The scholarships that have been awarded ranged from $2,000 to $3,000 each, according to the foundation. Scholarship winners are selected through a blind process by Kelley’s family members and friends.
“For Sean it was all about the kids, and that’s the very least we can do,” Mary said, her voice breaking. “We want to perpetuate his memory.”
The Round Rock ISD Partners in Education Foundation said donations to the Sean Kelley Memorial Scholarship can be made here.