Kerrigan’s dad dies; brother accused of assault

Liz De La Torre

From The Associated Press

STONEHAM, Mass. – A not guilty plea has been entered in Massachusetts on behalf of the brother of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan on charges of assaulting their 70-year-old father, who died over the weekend.

Forty-five-year-old Mark Kerrigan was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail after his arraignment Monday in Woburn District Court. He didn’t speak at the hearing but wept at one point.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Healey says 70-year-old Daniel Kerrigan fell or collapsed in the kitchen after a struggle with his son at the family home in Stoneham early Sunday. The elder Kerrigan was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Healey cites Mark Kerrigan’s “lengthy” criminal record in seeking bail. She says he is unemployed and living at his parents’ home.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

STONEHAM, Mass. (AP) — The brother of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan has been charged with assaulting their 70-year-old father, who died over the weekend after a disturbance at the family’s Massachusetts home.

Mark Kerrigan, 45, faced arraignment Monday in Woburn District Court on a charge of assault and battery on a person over 60 that resulted in injuries, said John Teevan, first assistant clerk magistrate of the court.

A police report said officers responding to the 911 call at 1:30 a.m. Sunday found Daniel Kerrigan lying on the floor unconscious. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy was planned.

Brenda Kerrigan told the Boston Herald that her husband died of a heart attack and there was nothing suspicious about the death.

The report said Mark Kerrigan was found on a couch in the basement of the home in the middle-class Boston suburb of Stoneham and was “belligerent and combative” when questioned. Officers used pepper spray to subdue him and eventually arrested him.

“(Mark) Kerrigan appeared intoxicated but appeared coherent in understanding questions and answering them,” the report stated.

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

Mark Kerrigan told officers that he believed his father was “faking it,” according to the report.

The officers said they saw blood on the floor near where Daniel Kerrigan had been treated by emergency workers, as well as signs of a struggle, including three pictures that had apparently been knocked off the wall and a broken piece of the telephone.

Stoneham and state police assigned to the Middlesex district attorney’s office are continuing the investigation, Police Chief Richard Bongiorno said. The chief would not say if he knew whether police had been called to the home in the past for domestic reasons.

Nancy Kerrigan is a two-time Olympic medal winner, taking the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, and the silver at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. She won a gold medal at the 1993 U.S. Championships.

She was at the center of a saga at the U.S. Championships before the 1994 Games, when an assailant clubbed Kerrigan’s right knee during practice and an investigation revealed rival Tonya Harding had knowledge of the planning of the attack.

Nancy Kerrigan married her manager, Jerry Solomon, in 1995. They live in Lynnfield and have three children together. A message left with Solomon was not immediately returned.

Kerrigan and Solomon established the Nancy Kerrigan Foundation, which supports the vision impared in honor of Brenda Kerrigan, who is legally blind.

The Boston Globe published a death notice on Monday for Daniel Kerrigan, which said he was a U.S. Army veteran. He and his wife also have another son, Michael.

A funeral Mass was scheduled for Thursday.