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Posted: Wednesday August 8, 2012 3:21AM ; Updated: Wednesday August 8, 2012 12:46PM

Skater Kerrigan's brother cannot voluntarily return to jail

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WOBURN, Mass. (AP) -- A Massachusetts judge on Wednesday denied a request by ice skater Nancy Kerrigan's brother to return to prison to serve the last four months of an assault sentence rather than comply with the conditions of his probation.

Mark Kerrigan asked Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman to send him back to jail to serve the rest of his 2 1/2-year sentence for assault and battery in connection with the 2010 death of his father.

His attorney told Tuttman the terms of his probation were too much of a financial burden and that he would rather go back to jail than deal with the onerous conditions.

Tuttman denied the request.

"It is not up to Mr. Kerrigan to decide that he wants to serve a sentence rather than serve probation," she said.

She did say that he can talk to the district attorney about any financial issues and return to court if he can't work something out. His probation conditions included alcohol counseling, anger management classes and mental health counseling.

Kerrigan, who did not speak during the 20-minute hearing, was joined by family in court. His sister was not present. He was released early from a county jail on July 27.

Prosecutors said Mark Kerrigan caused his father's death while in a drunken rage on Jan. 24, 2010. They said he put his hands around 70-year-old Daniel Kerrigan's neck with such force that he broke cartilage in his larynx and triggered his heart failure.

Mark Kerrigan was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the death at the family's home in Stoneham, just north of Boston. He received the maximum prison sentence on the assault and battery charge despite tearful pleas for leniency from relatives including his younger sister, who won a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics and a silver medal in 1994.

At the 1994 U.S. Championships, Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on her right knee by an attacker during practice. An investigation revealed that rival Tonya Harding had knowledge of the planning of the attack.

Harding's ex-husband and two other men served time for planning and carrying it out. Harding pleaded guilty to covering it up and received a lifetime ban by the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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