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Mark Kerrigan Sent To Jail For 2 Years In Death Of Father

WOBURN (CBS/AP) - The brother of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan will go to jail for two years on an assault charge after being acquitted of manslaughter in his father's death.

A jury found Mark Kerrigan not guilty of manslaughter Wednesday in the 2010 death of his 70-year-old father, Daniel Kerrigan, but convicted him of assault and battery.

WBZ-TV's Diana Perez reports.

At his sentencing Thursday morning in Woburn Superior Court, prosecutors asked for the maximum of 2 1/2 years in a county jail on the misdemeanor charge.

Defense attorney Janice Bassil asked for a 6-month suspended sentence followed by a year of probation.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports


Judge S. Jane Haggerty decided to sentence Kerrigan to 2 1/2 years, but ordered him to serve just two. Six months of the sentence will be suspended.

Kerrigan must also attend anger management classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He will be eligible for parole after eight months.

Watch raw video of the sentencing:

In a brief statement before sentencing, Mark Kerrigan told the court, "I love my father.  I miss him very much."

"I'd like the opportunity to return home so I can be there to help my mother."

Nancy Kerrigan and their mother, Brenda, also made statements during the sentencing hearing.

The Kerrigan family has supported Mark Kerrigan since the incident and never believed he was responsible for his father's death.

Nancy Kerrigan broke down in tears during her statement Thursday, saying "any sentence for Mark would only serve to extend an unnecessary situation that already seems as if it has been never-ending."

"Please send him home with us today so he can rejoin our family."

Watch Nancy Kerrigan's statement:

Brenda Kerrigan's sister, Joanne Tarason, read her statement before the judge.

"I never wanted this trial," Brenda's statement read, "but the Commonwealth insisted.  Even after the verdict they're still taking shots at my family."

Watch Brenda Kerrigan's statement:

Mark Kerrigan's attorney said Brenda was unable to read her statement because she was still upset with District Attorney Gerry Leone's comments after Wednesday's verdict.

"This verdict speaks to the actions of an angry, belligerent, highly intoxicated 45-year-old who cared more about his selfish desires than his 70-year-old father," Leone said Wednesday.

"We have been dragged through a very public trial," Brenda's statement read. "We have suffered enough."

"Any sentence for Mark will only cause an un-needed delay for us all.  I need Mark back home with me and I would like that to start today."

Prosecutor Elizabeth Keeley told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens the sentence was "fair and appropriate."

"Their efforts to help him and support him have not worked.  He's a grown man and needs to take responsibility for his actions.  We have always been very empathetic towards the family and understand they have been torn between the loss of their father and clearly the actions that their son has been convicted of."

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 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.)

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