Nancy Kerrigan Defends Brother in Father's Death

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Former Olympian Nancy Kerrigan is speaking out for the first time since the death of her father Daniel. Her brother Mark is being charged, and she's not happy.

Kerrigan called her late father "her safety net'' and does not believe her brother should face criminal charges for his alleged role in 70-year-old Daniel's death.

"He was someone who took an interest in everyone that he came in contact with and, if he knew you much at all, had an endearing wisecrack that would be sure to make you laugh,'' she said of her father. "For me, he was my safety net."

In a letter, released by her spokeswoman, Kerrigan said her family supports her brother, Mark Kerrigan, whom authorities allege fought with their father inside their Stoneham, Mass., home last month, possibly contributing to his father's death.

On Tuesday, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.'s office said the medical examiner's office had concluded Daniel Kerrigan's death was a homicide resulting directly from a fight with the son coupled with a pre-existing cardiac condition.

Leone has not decided whether to upgrade charges against the son, who has pleaded not guilty to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charges.

But Nancy Kerrigan made her views clear.

"It has been a sad moment for us all,'' Kerrigan wrote. "And it isn't over yet, particularly with the ruling this week about the cause of my dad's death; a ruling by the way which we think was unjustified and which we plan to help my brother fight.''

Separately, Mark Kerrigan's defense attorney said that Daniel Kerrigan's death may turn out to be an accident that would not merit a criminal charge at all.

Mark Kerrigan, who has mental health issues, has also been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to Army service, his attorney said in court.

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