WOBURN, Mass. -- The brother of figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was charged with manslaughter in the death of their 70-year-old father in what prosecutors called a violent attack during a "trivial" argument over use of the family telephone, the district attorney's office said Thursday.
Mark Kerrigan, 45, was indicted by a Middlesex Superior Court grand jury in the Jan. 24 death of Daniel Kerrigan.
He had already been charged with assault. Since being released on bail, he has been living with his mother in the family's Stoneham home, where the alleged assault took place.
"We allege that the defendant's violent reckless actions and complete disregard for his father's safety and well-being endangered Daniel Kerrigan's life and resulted in the substantial harm that led to his untimely death," District Attorney Gerry Leone said in announcing the indictment.
"This defendant should have known that the cruel acts that he committed against his elderly father, including grabbing him by the neck with enough force to cause a fracture, were highly likely to result in substantial harm and endanger his father's life," Leone said.
Members of the close-knit Kerrigan family have insisted they do not blame Mark Kerrigan for the death of his father, who had a pre-existing heart condition.
A state medical examiner said the cause of death was "cardiac dysrhythmia" -- a loss or interruption of a normal heartbeat that can lead to cardiac arrest -- after an altercation with neck compression that damaged his windpipe. The findings also noted that the elder Kerrigan had high blood pressure and clogged arteries.
Kerrigan's attorney, Janice Bassil, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A spokeswoman for the Kerrigan family could not immediately be reached for comment.