Brenda Kerrigan resumed her testimony this morning in the manslaughter case against her son Mark, disputing prosecutors’ assertions that the fatal confrontation between her son and her husband was a "fight."
The incident that preceded the heart attack that left her husband, Daniel, dead in their Stoneham home in January 2010 lasted for less than 10 seconds, she said.
“It wasn’t a fight,” she said when questioned by a prosecutor in Middlesex Superior Court this morning. She was in the kitchen with the two men during the confrontation.
“If you said [it was a] physical altercation, that would mean some sort of physical fight, with punching,” she said.
“Did you see that?” asked Elizabeth Keeley, the assistant district attorney.
“Absolutely not,” Kerrigan said.
Mark Kerrigan faces manslaughter and assault and battery charges in the death of his 70-year-old father. Brenda Kerrigan, mother of Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, and the rest of her family are supporting Mark.
As she fought tears in court this morning, Brenda Kerrigan said she never saw her son touch her husband’s neck. She said he had his arms around her husband’s waist and that her husband had his hands on her son’s shoulders, as if they were in a bear hug.
“I didn’t see Mark grab him by the neck,” she said.
On Wednesday, the state’s chief medical examiner testified that Daniel Kerrigan died as a result of a fight with his son, echoing similar testimony earlier in the week from a cardiologist who served as Kerrigan’s primary care doctor.
“There’s really no doubt in my mind that the physical altercation played a role in Mr. Kerrigan’s death,” said Dr. Henry Nields, the medical examiner, who was the prosecution's final witness.
Nields noted Kerrigan suffered an acute fracture of cartilage in his larynx, which prosecutors say his son inflicted.
Defense attorneys have argued that Kerrigan died as a result of a long history of coronary artery disease.
This morning, Brenda Kerrigan said she urged her husband and son to leave each other alone. She said they were arguing because her son wanted to use the telephone. “I said ‘Danny, Mark, stop it!’” she said. “‘Will you guys stop it?’”
She said her husband then suddenly and inexplicably collapsed.
“He fell very softly,” she said, gesturing to show how he fell in a slow motion.
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