Kerrigan's Father's Death Ruled a Homicide

By Dana Kitchens
|  Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM PDT
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Kerrigan's Father's Death Ruled a Homicide

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An autopsy report released today finds violence is a factor in the death of Nancy Kerrigan's father.

The death of Nancy Kerrigan's father was ruled a homicide Tuesday, after the release of an autopsy report that indicated Kerrigan died of a heart rhythm problem that stemmed from a fight with his son.

The 70-year-old died of a heart rhythm problem January 24 after suffering a neck injury that damaged his voice box, according to the autopsy. The death came after a scuffle with his son, Mark Kerrigan, 45, who was charged with assault and battery.

Kerrigan's son "said he struggled with his father and put his hands around his father's neck and his father fell to the floor," according to the arresting officer's report.

Mark Kerrigan "denied any responsibility" in court January 25, but was sent to Massachusetts' Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental evaluation after his defense attorney revealed that he is being treated for post-traumatic stress syndrome.

The autopsy report, released by Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone, also showed Daniel Kerrigan had high blood pressure and clogged heart arteries -- health conditions that increase the chance of sudden cardiac arrest.

"As a result of these conclusions of the medical examiner, the investigation into Daniel Kerrigan's death, and whether any charges in connection with his death are appropriate, remains ongoing," Leone said in a statement.

The Kerrigan family camp disputed the findings.

"The Kerrigan family is extremely disappointed that the medical examiner would release a cause of death without having all of the relevant facts," said the family's lawyer, Tracy Miner. We believe this finding to be premature and inaccurate," according to TMZ.

Nancy Kerrigan won a silver medal in the 1994 Olympics in figure skating.

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