Prosecutor: ‘Angry, Mean, Nasty, Drunk’ Son Killed Kerrigan’s Father

WOBURN (CBS/AP) – An “angry, mean, nasty, drunk son” killed Nancy Kerrigan’s father, a prosecutor told jurors Monday in the manslaughter trial of the Olympic skater’s brother, while a defense attorney said it was longstanding heart disease that caused the man’s death.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.


Mark Kerrigan, 46, is charged in the January 2010 death of his 70-year-old father, Daniel Kerrigan at the family’s home in Stoneham, just north of Boston.

The jury deliberated for four and a half hours without a verdict on Monday.

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, breaking cartilage in his larynx and triggering heart failure.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports jury asks for deliberating help

Although Daniel Kerrigan had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease seven 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, Keeley said.

She challenged Kerrigan’s mother’s description of the fight between Mark Kerrigan and his father as appearing like the two men were in a “bear hug.”

“You know, ladies and gentlemen, that it would take a lot more than a bear hug to bring that man down,” Keeley said. “It took this defendant — an angry, mean, nasty, drunk son of his to take Daniel Kerrigan down, to end his life.”

But Kerrigan’s lawyer, Janice Bassil, told the jury there is no evidence that the seconds-long fight was violent or that Mark Kerrigan’s actions triggered the cardiac dysrhythmia that killed him.

Bassil cited medical testimony from experts on both sides 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 his son.

Bassil cited testimony from family members who said Daniel Kerrigan had slowed down physically and appeared tired and grayish in color in the days and weeks before his death.

She also cited testimony from his wife, Brenda, who said she did not see her son grab her husband around the neck, but instead described a very brief physical encounter between the two men that ended with her husband falling to the floor “like a feather.”

“They can’t prove that Mark Kerrigan deliberately hit his father. They can’t prove that Mark Kerrigan deliberately broke his father’s cartilage or that he killed him,” said Bassil. “Mark Kerrigan loved his father then and he loves him now.”

Kerrigan is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery on a person 60 years or older causing serious bodily injury.

The Kerrigan family has supported Mark Kerrigan. Nancy Kerrigan has been in court every day of the weeklong trial.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Kim Tunnicliffe
Comments

One Comment

  1. Denise says:

    Geesh… you hear Nancy Kerrigan more than any other name in this trial… Maybe she was the cause? Everyone else lost their identity!!!

  2. Jenny C says:

    Her brother Michael hasn’t been there at all-what’s it tell you?????

    1. Gloria says:

      The father was the backbone of the lives of these children and he gets absolutely no thanks for all that was accomlplished. Its true that Nancy comes up alot in this trial and frankly she should have stayed out of the entire mess. This guy wants enabling and she’s giving it to him on top of his mother as well.

      Very dysfunctional family.

    2. Ellen says:

      Jenny C it tells me that mom is in denial big time. If my husband was pushed down in almost strangled by my son then it would be hard for me to offer any kind of defense for the kid. Period.

  3. kevin says:

    let em go with a lil slap on the wrist…few more years an hell probably be back throwing a baby against a wall……

    1. Cynic says:

      Kevin….Not “Probably”: “Possibly”… But not likely.
      The last time my two surviving brothers and myself got together we were comparing scars from our battles when we were younger….
      I don’t know if they ended up throwing babies against the wall…..I’m going to call them tonight and check…. I’ll get back to you.

  4. Denise says:

    Didn’t know Nancy Kerrigan had another brother. Does Nancy Kerrigan have a husband? Is he known as the husband of Nancy Kerrigan too???

    The fight probably didn’t help the cause – but any of us that are married or have kids know how heated arguments can get at times. So if nobody was there but a 1/2 blind mother of Nancy Kerrigan to witness the event – who says the father didn’t go after the son for the phone?? He might have started it… We don’t know we weren’t there – but the “cause” of his death was a heart attack wasn’t it? Not strangulation or blunt force trama… if an argument or minor scuffle can cause a heart attack and get the state to press charges… Be careful…

    as for the other brother – maybe he’s staying out of it for his own reasons – until he speaks for himself… we can only spectulate what the other brother of Nancy Kerrigan is really thinking!

    1. Jenny C says:

      she can’t be legally blind one day and then be an eyewitness to what transpired. I don’t put alot of credibility in what she “saw”>

  5. charlie says:

    All I can say is this must be a terrible tragedy for the entire Kerrigan Family. And the news media and newspapers are the ones to blame for all the uncessessary attention.. If Nancy didnt go to the olympics this story would be nothing, there would be no story. The Kerrigan family did/does not ask for this attention. Why dont you all put yourself in their shoes, we all have skeletons in our families so who are we to judge. The only ones that know we what happend are the three people that were there. My sympathies to this family for your loss and all you have to endure because of the media.

  6. Cynic says:

    ” Angry,Mean,Nasty,Drunk”?…. How does he know? Was he there?

    1. Cinque says:

      It’s “she” Cynic and not he.

  7. Mary says:

    Please leave the Kerrigan alone. People who write these horrible comments must have a lot of problems in their own background. I have been following this sad story and anytime it involves a family member it hurts more.
    Please give this family the privacy that they deserve and go your way.

    1. mark says:

      It’s even more sad that you have nothing else to do besides follow stories of other people’s lives. I’d suggest keeping the judment to yourself unless you want ridicule thrown back your way.

  8. response says:

    the story would be different if this was an elderly man/woman who had a heart attack and died while being attacked during a robery or a break-in.

    since this is a priveldged white family….things are a lot different.

  9. Cynic says:

    This story is different because this is the family of Nancy Kerrigan not because they are a privileged white family- color has nothing to do with this story- it’s all over the papers because of who Mark is related to.

  10. Guilty says:

    Father’s death was the result of a fight between father and son.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    STUPID PEOPLE LEAVE THIS FAMILY ALONE. TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN PROBLEMS AND GO HOME AND DO SOME GOOD FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

    1. BLACKBEAR1 says:

      PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH THE NAME CALLING. EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS PUBLIC INFORMATION. THE KERRIGAN FAMILY HAS LIVED AND PROFITED FROM THE PUBLIC LIMELIGHT FOR MANY YEARS AND FOR LONG AFTER THE OLYMPICS.. IF AND I DO SAY IF THIS IS TRUE, THIS GUY COULD BE A DANGER TO OTHERS.
      WE ARE NOT STUPID! ARE YOU A POLLYANNA??

    2. Jenny C says:

      Like you?????

  12. Cinque says:

    Looks to me like most of the money & most of the praise went to Nancy and this fellow was sort of ignored. That right there could be his problem but only they know.

  13. Denise says:

    I’m amused by the people that say “find something better to do than pick on Nancy Kerrigans family”… then what are they doing here! I think they should find something better to do too!

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