HAVERHILL (CBS) — An 83-year-old man was ordered held without bail after he was accused of killing his roommate at a Haverhill nursing home over the weekend. A judge arraigned Jose Veguilla on one charge of murder and ordered him to undergo a competency evaluation at Bridgewater State Hospital on Monday.
Prosecutors said Veguilla killed Robert Boucher, 76, by swinging a walker at his head. Boucher was rushed from Oxford Manor, where the men lived, to Holy Family Hospital but he did not survive.
Veguilla allegedly also took a swing at the nurse who discovered the commotion and anyone else who came near him before he was arrested.
83 year old Jose Veguilla just walked into court in handcuffs. A doctor that interviewed him prior to the arraignment says he “has no rational appreciation” for the fact that he’s accused of beating another 76 yr old man to death at a Haverhill nursing home. #WBZ
— Louisa Moller (@LouisaMoller) October 7, 2019
A court-appointed psychologist said Veguilla had “no rational appreciation” for what he was accused of doing.
Veguilla’s son said his father suffers from severe dementia and fell last year but has no history of violence. He questioned why employees did not respond faster to the situation.
“How does an 83-year-old man have the time to do what he’s been accused of doing and no one is stepping in to intervene?” Veguilla’s son Henry said. “We know he was having issues with medications and not taking them the way he should have and we think it’s the place where he was’s responsibility to make sure he was taking his medication.”
Boucher was engaged to be married.
“They said that they had sad news,” recalled fiance Beatrice Duchesne. “They told me about him being beaten. And I just stood there in shock. I couldn’t even cry.”
“He was a kind, giving, kind-hearted man,” she added.
Oxford Manor receives a much lower than average rating on Medicare.gov and was the subject of a settlement by the Mass. Attorney General earlier this year.