Kerrigan judge explains maximum sentence

May 27, 2011 at 5:35 PM

BOSTON, May 27 (UPI) -- A Massachusetts judge called Mark Kerrigan a "middle-aged man with serious alcohol issues" in ordering the maximum sentence for his conviction for assault.

Judge S. Jane Haggerty, who sentenced the 46-year-old brother of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan to 2-1/2 years in the Middlesex House of Correction Thursday, also cited what she termed his uncontrollable anger, history of destructive behavior, violence toward women and family members, and unresolved mental health issues, The Boston Globe reported.

"There is always some hope that Mr. Kerrigan will someday successfully address these issues," Haggerty said. "One hopes that he will take responsibility for himself and his actions.''

Kerrigan was acquitted of manslaughter charges but convicted of assault after prosecutors argued he struggled with his 70-year-old father Daniel in a late-night, alcohol-fueled argument over use of the family's telephone and grabbed the elder Kerrigan by the neck, crushing cartilage and triggering the father's heart failure.

Haggerty ordered Kerrigan to serve two years behind bars, suspending the remaining six months.

If he had been convicted of manslaughter he could have faced a prison term of 20 years, the Globe said.

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