Kerrigan Family Defend Son in Father’s Death But Case Seems Strong Against Him

February 11, 2010

(ChattahBox) -  1994 Olympic silver medalist Nancy Kerrigan and her family are in a can’t win family situation and have apparently chosen to defend her brother. The patriarch of their family Daniel Kerrigan was killed and the coroner has ruled the death to be homicide, pointing to the son Mark.  The Massachusetts medical examiner found that Daniel was not very healthy, he suffered from high blood pressure and clogged arteries. But he determined that the cause of death was “cardiac dysrhythmia” an interruption of the normal heart beat after a “physical altercation with neck compression” that fractured the cartilage in his larynx.  The ruling on the cause of death is going to be key to convicting Mark.Within hours of the ruling Nancy Kerrigan, her brother Michael and their mother Brenda, issued a statement rejecting the coroner’s finding as “premature and inaccurate”, seemingly trying to keep Mark Kerrigan out of jail. But the evidence against him is pretty damning. Mark Kerrigan, 45, has been charged with assault and battery and is undergoing psychiatric evaluation after allegedly clashed with his father Daniel, 70, on January 24, in an argument over the telephone.

Mark Kerrigan, is a US Army veteran who has served overseas, was taking medication for post-traumatic stress syndrome. He has a long history of domestic violence, and was released from prison last year after serving more than two years for hitting his wife and threatening her with a knife. Janet Kerrigan, who divorced Mark after he beat her, described him as a “very angry man” who became violent when he drank.

His parents let him live in the basement of the family home on his release. And on that fateful night police responding to a call about a domestic disturbance, and found Daniel Kerrigan unconscious on the kitchen floor at about 1.30am. Police found Mark in the basement of the house, “clearly intoxicated,” cussing and “extremely combative.” He refused to comply with police officers, said Keeley, and they had to subdue him with pepper spray before forcibly removing him from the home. Police say they found a bottle of Dewar’s Scotch whiskey near by.

“He said he wanted to use the phone and his father would not let him,” the arresting officer wrote in a report. “He said he struggled with his father and put his hands around his father’s neck and his father fell to the floor.”

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