Mark Kerrigan and sister Nancy
05/25/2011 at 12:35 PM EDT
Mark Kerrigan, brother of former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, was found not guilty of manslaughter
on Wednesday but was convicted on a lesser charge of assault and battery in the January 2010 death of their father
after a physical confrontation in the kitchen of the family's Massachusetts home.
Sentencing is set for Thursday. He faces up to 2½ years in jail. The verdict came after a Superior Court jury in Woburn, Mass., had deliberated for the better part of three days.
Nancy Kerrigan, 41, said after the verdict was handed down, "My family has never believed that my brother had anything to do at all with my father's death, and my dad never would have wanted any of this."
"This case is sad, tragic and extremely difficult," said District Attorney Gerald Leone. "But this verdict holds Mark Kerrigan responsible and accountable for beating his 70-year-old father."
Prosecutors had argued during the trial that Mark Kerrigan, 46, in a fight with his father, Daniel, over the use of the telephone, punched the elder Kerrigan so powerfully that he triggered Daniel's heart failure.
The defense countered by insisting the prosecution failed to prove its case, and that Daniel Kerrigan succumbed to heart disease
, which he had suffered from for a long time.
Since Mark's arrest
, both Nancy and her and Mark's mother, Brenda, have remained supportive
As the verdict was read, Nancy placed her arm around her mother.
Additional reporting by JUDY RAKOWSKY