BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — Authorities in Bucks County say jaw pain was a contributing factor in what led a patient to violently bludgeon a Bensalem chiropractor. The son of Dr. James Sowa told Eyewitness News that his family is still grieving over the death that happened in November, but they’re thankful for the police making an arrest.
“Today, the defendant is charged with criminal homicide,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.
Joseph O’Boyle, 22, of Bensalem, is charged with an open count of homicide, burglary, trespassing, and other charges in connection to the November death of Sowa.
Police say O’Boyle had jaw pain and saw the doctor to treat it. But when the pain worsened after a visit, O’Boyle confronted Sowa at his Bensalem office, where police say O’Boyle beat him to death.
“The defendant’s actions seem like a poetic, perverse irony,” Weintraub said.
Court documents show Sowa’s jaw was either struck by or rammed into a blunt object multiple times.
“Our evidence shows that the defendant struck Dr. Sowa with a blunt object on the back of his head,” Weintraub said, “then brutally beat him about the jaw while he was already incapacitated, unable to defend himself or fight back.”
Police started tying O’Boyle to the crime after his car was captured on a security camera near the murder scene.
“Which allowed us to further key in on Mr. O’Boyle,” Weintraub said.
Sowa’s obituary was posted on the door of his chiropractic office on Friday. It reads, in part, “He was a selfless father and husband who always put his family first.”
Meanwhile, O’Boyle remains locked up in the Bucks County Jail with no bail.
“Somehow got it in his head that this was the cause of his misfortune,” Weintraub said. “And he tragically and criminally took it out on Dr. Sowa, who lost his life as a result.”
Police say while officers were at the suspect’s home during the homicide investigation, the suspect assaulted an officer.
O’Boyle’s preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 20.
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