The man who threw a deadly punch in an Abington parking lot began his trial today as jurors heard dramatic testimony from the widow of the man who died.
“We decided to take out his breathing tube and let him die on his own,” Donna Cherry said, recalling the decision to end life support for her husband Brian.
Brian Cherry died a few days after the fight outside Marylou’s Coffee between himself and Michael McGunigle.
McGunigle threw the one and only punch in the altercation. In his exclusive interview with FOX Undercover earlier this month, McGunigle said he hit Cherry after Cherry appeared to prepare to hit him, and that Cherry tripped over his own feet, fell down and hit his head on the ground.
The prosecutor said in her opening statement, though, that an enraged McGunigle ignored numerous chances to walk away and instead threw a “sucker punch” that caused Cherry to fall straight down and crack his head on the ground.
“The defendant chose to haul off and sucker punch Brian Cherry in the face, knocking him straight back to the pavement in an instant,” said Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Christine M. Kiggen.
Defense attorney Wayne Murphy told the jurors that the punch was thrown in self-defense after Cherry shoved and then prepared to hit McGunigle.
The trial is expected to last about a week. If convicted of manslaughter, McGunigle could be sentenced to as long as 20 years in prison.