Guilty of manslaughter

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

A man whose girlfriend died last year after he pushed her during a fight will spend the next decade in prison.

Suffolk Circuit Court Judge Westbrook J. Parker on Thursday sentenced Barry Fitzgerald Gainey, 42, of 201 Lee St. to seven years for the involuntary manslaughter of Bridget Charlene White in October 2004. That is six times the usual sentence for a manslaughter charge, said Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Will Jamerson.

Gainey, who was on probation at the time of White’s death, was also sentenced to one year each for three probation violations.


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Doctors initially believed White, who suffered from cirrhosis and a degenerative muscular disease, died of natural causes, said Jamerson.

But an autopsy revealed that she had suffered a blow to the left side of her rib cage, which had cracked a rib, in turn puncturing her spleen, he said.

Several days after White’s death, Gainey was arrested and charged with murder. He told authorities that he had struck White during a fight on the night of her death, which caused her to fall against a pull-out sofa, Jamerson said.

Gainey spoke to White’s family in court Thursday, saying her death was an accident.

&uot;I apologize for my action and poor decision,&uot; said Gainey. &uot;I loved Bridget…and I never intended to hurt her. She was my best friend.&uot;