Abington Man Accused of Aggravated Assault in Barking Dog Incident Now Charged with Manslaughter

In Massachusetts, 49-year-old Abington resident Michael McGunigle is now charged with manslaughter over the death of another Abington man. McGunigle, 48, is accused of punching Brian Cherry on July 6 during an argument.

The altercation between the two Abington men allegedly occurred after Cherry asked McGunigle to restrain his dog. McGunigle’s pet was barking, jumping at people, and scaring some of kids.

Cherry, who was knocked off his feet by the alleged punch, landed on the pavement. His head struck the ground and he sustained traumatic brain injuries. He died on Sunday.

McGunigle had initially been charged with aggravated assault over the incident. He pleaded not guilty and was out on $3,000 bail. After an autopsy was conducted on Cherry’s body, however, the Plymouth district attorney’s office changed the criminal charge to manslaughter. They are calling Cherry’s death a homicide because his cause of death was injury due to blunt force trauma.

Today, McGunigle turned himself in. At his arraignment in Brockton District Court, the Abington man was ordered held on $50,000 bail.

McGunigle maintains that Cherry was the aggressor.

A Massachusetts criminal charge for manslaughter is a serious offense that could lead to years behind bars if you are convicted. It can be especially tough to receive the fair trial that you are entitled to if the court of public opinion is against you. For instance, the media may portray you in an unflattering light or tell the story about your case in such a way that you appear to be guilty even if you haven’t been convicted in a court of law.

A good Boston criminal defense law firm will know how to navigate through the obstacles that can get in the way of you getting the fair treatment that you deserve under Massachusetts law.

Fight over barking dog leads to upgraded manslaughter charge, Boston.com, July 15, 2009
Wife: Man In Coma After Dispute Over Dog, WCVB TV, July 9, 2009
Related Web Resource:
Manslaughter, The General Laws of Massachusetts
Contact Altman & Altman LLP and ask to speak with one of our experienced Boston criminal defense attorneys.

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