Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Court ordeal for skater Kerrigan

Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan arrives for the funeral for her father Daniel Kerrigan (AP)

Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan will be called as a witness in her brother's trial for the manslaughter of their 70-year-old father because she has "extremely relevant testimony" about her father's health before he died, a legal chief says.

Prosecutors say Daniel Kerrigan died after an altercation with his son Mark at the family's Stoneham, Massachusetts, home last January.

But the Kerrigan family says Mr Kerrigan died of a long-standing heart condition and that Mark Kerrigan is not responsible for his death.

Mark Kerrigan's lawyers said Nancy Kerrigan wanted to attend the trial "to be here for her brother" and questioned why the prosecution is calling her as a witness. She has publicly supported her brother.

"It's difficult to determine how she would have any relevant testimony to give for the Commonwealth," said Mark Kerrigan's lawyer Janice Bassil. "She has nothing relevant to say."

But assistant district attorney Elizabeth Keeley said Nancy Kerrigan was interviewed by police several weeks after her father's death and described a man who appeared to be in good health, saying he had chopped down trees and helped lift furniture in the weeks before his death.

"She gave extremely relevant testimony," Ms Keeley said.

Jury selection in the trial will begin on Friday in Woburn Superior Court. The trial is expected to last about a week.

Nancy Kerrigan, of Lynnfield, won the bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, and the silver at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

She was at the centre of a saga at the US Championships before the 1994 games, when an assailant clubbed her right knee during practice. An investigation revealed that rival skater Tonya Harding had knowledge of the planning of the attack.

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