Kerrigan Trial Day One Summary - Prosecution Says Violent Attack Led To Death, Defense Says Medical Issues

A recap of day one of the trial of Mark Kerrigan, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his father. Kerrigan is the brother of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.

WOBURN — Mark Kerrigan’s drunken, violent abuse of his father lead to his death, prosecutors said during open statements of Kerrigan’s manslaughter trial.

But defense attorneys said medical issues led to Daniel Kerrigan’s death, not his son’s violence.

Here's a look at some of  the events from day one:

Son Wanted to Use the Phone: The argument between the two was "all over wanting to use the house phone," Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Keeley said during opening statements Monday in Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn.

Neck Injury or Medical Issues?: Prosecutors allege the neck injury led to the heart attack that killed Daniel Kerrigan on Jan. 24, 2010. But defense attorney Janice Bassil said Daniel Kerrigan was a “very, very sick man,” suffering from serious heart-related medical issues, including significantly blocked arteries.  The medical issues led to his death, not his son’s violence, Bassil said.

Friends, Family Testify on Medical Condition: Douglas Meahl, of Stoneham, a friend who occasional borrowed tools from the elder Kerrigan, said he wasn't as active as he had been in the past and unable to complete some tasks around the house without needing to take breaks, he said during testimony Monday. Days prior to his death, family members claimed Daniel Kerrigan's "complexion didn't look well."

911 Tape: “My husband is on the floor": The prosecution entered a 911 tape, featuring Brenda Kerrigan and Mark Kerrigan's voices, into evidence and played it during the trial during testimony by emergency responders.

"My husband is on the floor, and I don't really know what is wrong with him," said a distraught Brenda during the call. "... He fell on the floor."

Mark Kerrigan, who could be heard cursing in the background, eventually spoke with a dispatcher during the call, saying his father "seemed to have (had) a heart attack."

Police: Mark Kerrigan Thought His Father Was Faking It: Police responded to the Kerrigan home about 1:30 a.m. Jan. 24, and found Mark Kerrigan in the basement trying to conceal something between a chair and sofa, which he later discovered to be a bottle of Scotch and Poland Spring water bottles filled with chewing tobacco spit, police said during testimony.

Mark Kerrigan told him "he grabbed [Daniel Kerrigan] by the neck, and that he fell to the floor and was faking it," Mahoney said.

Kerrigan was charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery following a confrontation with his father, Daniel Kerrigan, in January 2010. The younger Kerrigan firmly grabbed his 70-year-old father’s neck, crushing his larynx, prosecutors said.

A recap of day two of the trial can be found .


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