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Nancy Kerrigan's brother charged with manslaughter

Posted: April 8, 2010 12:47 p.m.
Updated: April 8, 2010 1:00 p.m.
 
BOSTON (AP) - The brother of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was charged with manslaughter in the death of their 70-year-old father in what prosecutors called a drunken rage during a trivial argument over use of the family telephone, the Middlesex district attorney's office said on Thursday.

Mark Kerrigan, 45, was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court grand jury in the Jan. 24 death of Daniel Kerrigan.

He had already been charged with assault and battery on an elderly person resulting in serious bodily injury. Since being released on bail after a psychiatric evaluation, he has been living with his mother in the family's Stoneham home, where the alleged assault took place.

Mark Kerrigan's "reckless actions and complete disregard for his father's safety and well-being" led to his death, District Attorney Gerry Leone said in announcing the indictment.

"This defendant should have known that the cruel acts that he committed against his elderly father, including grabbing him by the neck with enough force to cause a fracture, were highly likely to result in substantial harm and endanger his father's life," Leone said.

Members of the close-knit Kerrigan family have insisted they do not blame Mark Kerrigan for the death of his father, who had a pre-existing heart condition. Nancy Sterling, a spokeswoman for the Kerrigan family, did not return calls seeking comment.

Kerrigan is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn. The maximum sentence for manslaughter in Massachusetts is 20 years in prison.

Nancy Kerrigan won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, and the silver at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. She was at the center of a saga at the U.S. Championships before the 1994 Games, when an assailant clubbed her right knee during practice and an investigation revealed rival Tonya Harding had knowledge of the planning of the attack.

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