Nancy Kerrigan Comes to Her Brother's Defense

Former Olympian vows to help brother fight charges related to their father's death

By Jonathan Balthaser
|  Thursday, Feb 11, 2010  |  Updated 4:00 PM PDT
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Nancy Kerrigan Comes to Her Brother's Defense

Family drama surrounds Nancy Kerrigan as she heads to Vancouver to commentate for Entertainment Tonight.

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Olympic medal winner Nancy Kerrigan and her family are presenting a united front in defense of her brother Mark Kerrigan, 45, whose involvement in their father’s death last month has been ruled a homicide.

Kerrigan’s father, Daniel, 70, died on Jan. 24 after an allegedly violent struggle with his son Mark.

Kerrigan released a letter on Thursday, thanking friends and fans for “the outpouring of sentiment” her family has received since her father’s death. She said the sadness “isn’t over yet, particularly with the ruling this week about the cause of my dad’s death; a ruling by the way which we think was unjustified and which we plan to help my brother fight."

Mark Kerrigan was charged with assault and battery on an elderly person, but the family fears that a more severe indictment will come down after a state medical examiner reported that the patriarch's death was a homicide. Kerrigan and her family contend that her father had a pre-existing heart condition and that the death should not be classified as a murder.

According to cops, the altercation was sparked by a disagreement over the use of a phone. “He struggled with his father and put his hands around his father’s neck and his father fell to the floor,” the police said in a report.

Mark Kerrigan, an Army veteran, has a lengthy criminal record that includes assault and battery, domestic assults, drunken driving, resisting arrest and violation of a restraing order. His attorney said that he was seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication for post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said that an investigation into Kerrigan’s death is ongoing and he is deciding "whether any charges in connection with his death are appropriate."

Nancy Kerrigan, who is no stranger to controversy herself, released the letter just a day before she is slated to begin commentating on the Winter Olympic for “Entertainment Tonight and “The Insider.”

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