An Abington man was arraigned today on an upgraded charge of manslaughter after the man he allegedly punched for complaining about his barking dog died from severe head injuries.
Michael McGunigle, 49, is accused of throwing a punch on July 6 that knocked Brian Cherry, 48, off his feet. Cherry hit his head on the pavement and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with severe brain injuries. The Abington resident died Sunday.
McGunigle, who also lives in Abington, had been previously charged with aggravated assault. He pleaded not guilty to that charge and had been free on $3,000 cash bail.
The Plymouth district attorney's office upgraded the charge today following the results of Cherry's autopsy, said Assistant District Attorney Bridget Norton Middleton.
"The cause of death was brain and head injury related to blunt force trauma," Norton said, reading from the autopsy results. "The manner of death was homicide."
McGunigle turned himself in this morning to face the manslaughter charge. After his arraignment in Brockton District Court, McGunigle was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail at Plymouth House of Correction. A probable cause hearing had been scheduled for Aug. 26.
The altercation on July 6 occurred outside a coffee shop in Abington. Cherry asked McGunigle to restrain his dog, which was barking and lunging at passersby from inside a sport utility vehicle, according to police and prosecutors. In response, McGunigle allegedly punched Cherry, who dropped to the ground and struck his head on pavement.
McGunigle has expressed remorse for the altercation and has said that Cherry was the aggressor.
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