Rafferty sentenced to minimum three years in prison in death of his father

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The son of a longtime Quad City funeral home director was sentenced to the minimum of three years in prison in connection with the death of his father.

Larry Rafferty Jr. will serve about a year and a half in prison, with credit for time he's already served in the Rock Island County jail.

Earlier this year, Rafferty was found guilty of aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery, and involuntary manslaughter in the death of his dad, Larry Rafferty Sr.
Before his sentencing, Rafferty didn't apologize for the death of his father, because he still contends he is innocent. Instead, he let his attorney, Matt Durbin, do the talking.

"This is a family affair. This whole set of circumstances is tragic. I argued twice to this court there was no crime here at all. It was a tragic accident'', said Durbin.

Pat Rafferty, the victim's wife and defendant's mother, wrote a letter to Judge Walter Braud, asking for leniency for her son, who she said battled alcoholism.

Judge Braud sentenced Rafferty to the mandatory minimum, saying if it was up to him, he would have given him probation.

"This is a case where prison is not the right remedy. I shouldn't be sending this man to prison. This is a case that happens in too many families where one or more of the offspring has gone off the "road" because of alcohol and drugs'', said Braud.

Prosecutors argued for seven years in prison, saying evidence proved the younger Rafferty pushed his father during an argument outside the Rafferty Funeral Home. Rafferty wanted more money from his dad. Witnesses testifed he was drunk.

The elder Rafferty fell and hit his head, and died one month later.

"The whole family is in shambles. There's no punishment that this court could render on my client that's going to make him feel any worse'', said Durbin.