If you thought you heard a familiar voice and name (mine) on WBZ radio today, you were correct. I was interviewed about today’s Kerrigan verdict.
As you know, Mark Kerrigan, brother of famous Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan and hereinafter the “Defendant”, has been on trial in Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn. The Defendant was charged with killing his father during an argument.
Today, the jury came back from deliberations. The decision was “not guilty” of Massachusetts manslaughter and “guilty” of the Assault and Battery count.
Now, while the parties prepare for tomorrow’s sentencing, prosecutors are announcing their dissatisfaction with the verdict and Nancy Kerrigan is speaking for her family indicating that they did not want any prosecution at all. So, it’s a sure bet they will ask for no jail time while the Commonwealth likely seeks the maximum.
Meantime, the Defendant remains in custody.
Tomorrow should be an interesting and emotional day in Woburn court.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Split Verdicts, Criminal Sentences And Statments
In my quarter century in the criminal justice system, I have tried a variety of cases in state and federal courts in both Massachusetts and New York. In my experience, juries often decide to compromise in order to reach a verdict. This could well be one of those verdicts.
Or…it could be a decision based on their view of the evidence. In other words, they could believe that the Defendant did actually physically attack his father (as he basically admitted), but did not believe that assault killed the father.
The Commonwealth was in a bit of a tight spot here. They had to try the case from the inside out. In other words, relying on the autopsy findings to try to prove their case. Meanwhile, the defense not only had its expert testimony, but also the witnesses outside the body…in the room when the incident took place.
Of course, there is an exception to that. The Defendant.
Yes, the Defendant’s admission, perhaps made in response to promises of “Hey, we know you are not a bad guy. You would never hurt your dad. Just tell us your side of things and you can go home” came back to haunt him.
Whatever his motivation, it did not do him too much good in the end. In fact, that may have been the hook upon which the jury hung the conviction for the assault.
Each situation is different…at least in the details. However, one thing remains true. If you find yourself looking down the barrel in an assault charge in the Commonwealth, consult an experienced Massachusetts assault attorney! It frankly does not matter what the charge is…you want to consult a defense attorney experienced in handling cases similar to yours.
On the other hand, you could save some money and go it alone…and in doing so decrease your chances of going home.
If you would like to discuss a criminal matter with me, please feel free to call me at 617-492-3000 to arrange a free initial consultation..
To view the article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/05/25/kerrigan-trial-jury-deliberates-for-third-day/