WOBURN, Massachusetts (AP) — Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan tearfully asked a judge Thursday to spare her brother jail time and send him home "to rejoin our family" after he was convicted of assaulting their 70-year-old father.
Nancy Kerrigan broke down and cried as she asked Judge S. Jane Haggerty to send Mark Kerrigan home instead of sending him to jail.
Mark Kerrigan was convicted of assault, but acquitted of manslaughter, Wednesday in his father's 2010 death.
Prosecutors alleged that Mark Kerrigan caused his father's death during a physical altercation at the family's home in Stoneham, just north of Boston. They said Mark Kerrigan put his hands around Daniel Kerrigan's neck with such force that he broke cartilage in his father's larynx and triggered his heart failure.
The defense argued that Daniel Kerrigan died because he had severely blocked coronary arteries and that Mark Kerrigan was not responsible.
Nancy Kerrigan told the judge that the large Kerrigan family supported her brother. She called his prosecution in the death of their father "a long and trying experience.
"Any sentence for Mark would only serve to extend an unnecessary situation that already seems as if it has been never-ending," she said.
"We ask that you please ... send him home with us today so that he can rejoin our family," she said, breaking down in tears.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Keeley asked the judge to sentence Kerrigan to the maximum 2 1/2 years, citing his lengthy criminal record and alcohol problem.
Defense attorney Janice Bassil asked for a 6-month suspended sentence followed by a year of probation.
The judge called a recess in the sentencing hearing after listening to the emotional statements from Nancy Kerrigan and her aunt, Joanne Tarason, who spoke on behalf of Nancy and Mark's mother, Brenda Kerrigan.