HAVERHILL, MASS. (WHDH) - An 83-year-old man who allegedly used his walker to beat his fellow Haverhill nursing home resident to death on Saturday has been ordered held without bail.
Jose Veguilla appeared in Haverhill District Court Monday on a murder charge, according to the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
Officers responding to a report of an assaultive patient at Oxford Manor on Main Street around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday found a 76-year-old man suffering from injuries following a physical assault, the DA’s office said.
The victim, who authorities identified as Robert Boucher, was taken to Holy Family Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“When police got there, he still had the walker,” prosecutors said. “He was swinging the walker. The walker was covered in blood.”
Officers arrested Veguilla in connection with the assault. He was later taken to Bridgewater State Hospital, where he underwent a mental health evaluation.
“How does an 83-year-old man have the time to do what he is being accused of doing and no one stepping in to intervene?” Veguillia’s son Henry said.
Erika Wallace, whose father lives in the nursing home and knew the victim, claims Veguilla used his walker to beat his roommate.
“I’ve seen some pretty crazy things here, nothing along these lines,” she said. “Just to hear it happened so close to you, just crazy, because my father could have been his roommate. They switch roommates daily here to just kind of switch things up.”
Athena Health Care Systems, which runs the nursing home, released a statement that read, “The Oxford’s heart goes out to the families of those involved in last night’s incident. Our center is making additional support services available to our staff and residents. The Oxford Center and staff are working with the Haverhill and State Police Departments in their investigation. Based on our initial internal investigation, our staff acted quickly and appropriately in the matter; we are unable to comment further or provide additional details.”
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