Dementia patient accused of fatally assaulting roommate at Massachusetts nursing home

An 83-year-old patient at Haverhill, Mass.-based Oxford Rehabilitation and Health Care Center allegedly beat his roommate to death with a walker Oct. 5, the Boston Herald reported. 

Police arrived at the nursing home Oct. 5 to find Jose Veguilla swinging a bloody walker at staff, according to a police report cited by the Boston Herald. Mr. Veguilla responded to an officer's request to drop the walker. Another office said Mr. Veguilla, who has dementia, was speaking incoherently. A nurse told police he had not taken his medication that day.  

Police found the victim, 76-year-old Robert Boucher, unresponsive but breathing in his room. He had a large cut on his forehead, among other defense wounds. Authorities took him to Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill, Mass., where he was pronounced dead.

"The Oxford's heart goes out to the families of those involved in last night's incident," Tim Brown, marketing and communications director for Farmington, Conn.-based Athena Health Care Systems, which runs the nursing home, said in an Oct. 6 statement to the Boston Herald. "Based on our initial internal investigation, our staff acted quickly and appropriately in the matter."

A judge ordered Mr. Veguilla to undergo a competency evaluation after he pleaded not guilty to murder on Oct. 7. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 25.

More articles on post-acute care:
Fire forces Georgia assisted living facility to evacuate 
CMS unveils new alert system for nusing home abuse
Poor food safety is 'accepted practice' in nursing homes, research says

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