Jury deliberations begin in Kerrigan case
A jury in Woburn, Mass., began deliberations yesterday in the manslaughter trial of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan's brother after a prosecutor told the panel that the defendant was an "angry, mean, nasty, drunk son" when he killed his father. A defense attorney said longstanding heart disease was to blame.
A jury in Woburn, Mass., began deliberations yesterday in the manslaughter trial of Olympic skater
brother after a prosecutor told the panel that the defendant was an "angry, mean, nasty, drunk son" when he killed his father. A defense attorney said longstanding heart disease was to blame.
Mark Kerrigan, 46, is charged in the 2010 death of his 70-year-old father, Daniel Kerrigan, at the family's home in Stoneham, just north of Boston.
The Kerrigan family has supported Mark Kerrigan, insisting that he is not responsible for Daniel Kerrigan's death. Nancy Kerrigan has been in court every day of the weeklong trial and has often comforted her mother during difficult testimony.
During closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Keeley told the jury that Mark Kerrigan caused his father's death after he grabbed him around the neck with such force that he broke cartilage in his father's larynx and triggered his heart failure.
Keeley said that although Daniel Kerrigan had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease 7 years earlier, he had remained physically active, mowing his lawn, plowing his driveway and using a chain saw to chop up a tree limb in the months before his death.
She challenged a description of the fight by Kerrigan's mother, Brenda, who testified that the altercation between father and son lasted only a matter of seconds, that she saw them in a "bear hug" and that she never saw her son put his hands around her husband's neck.
Mark Kerrigan's lawyer, Janice Bassil, cited medical testimony from experts on both sides who said that Daniel Kerrigan had 85 percent to 100 percent blockage of three main coronary arteries. She also cited testimony from defense experts who said Daniel Kerrigan's fatal dysrhythmia likely began before he had any physical interaction with this son.
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