PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Bensalem man Friday pleaded guilty to killing a chiropractor in his office and assaulting a detective investigating the murder.
Bucks County prosecutors said Joseph O’Boyle, 23, admitted on November 2, 2020 Dr. James Sowa, 64, at his home office on Hulmeville Road.
Investigators cited records showing that O’Boyle told Dr. Sowa had seen as a patient two months earlier, but O’Boyle’s relatives said he wanted to sue the doctor because his jaw pain was increasing.
“O’Boyle compulsively complained to his family that his jaw pain was getting worse after receiving chiropractic care from Dr. Sowa received,” District Attorney Matt Weintraub said during the investigation. “In a misguided way, he focused on the fact that Dr. Something like that caused or worsened his jaw pain.”
dr Sowa’s last call that morning was at 7:52 a.m., and detectives say he missed numerous calls less than two hours later.
Surveillance video showed O’Boyle arriving at 8:32 a.m. on Dr. Sowa’s driveway went, disappeared from sight, then reappeared and just a minute later went the other way.
Investigators said O’Boyle had Dr. Hit the back of Sowa’s head three times with a blunt object, cracking his skull, and then Dr. Sowa hit or rammed his jaws with a blunt object and killed him.
“Almost like the Old Testament chapter and verse — instead of an eye for an eye, a jaw for a jaw,” Weintraub said at the time O’Boyle was indicted.
“The injuries that Dr. Sowa inflicted that ultimately caused him to succumb and die make the defendant’s actions seem like a poetic, perverse irony.”
Surveillance video from near the scene showed the number plate of a car that was registered to a house on Byberry Road, where police had previously investigated allegations that O’Boyle had hit his father after problems with O’Boyle’s antidepressant medication.
According to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, O’Boyle’s father twice confronted him about Dr. Sowa’s death, and O’Boyle admitted to the crime.
Detectives went to O’Boyle’s home a week after the murder. Authorities said O’Boyle assaulted a detective and repeatedly punched him in the head before other officers took O’Boyle into custody.
A hearing is scheduled for June 6 to determine the degree of murder for which O’Boyle will be convicted, with sentencing for both counts at a later date.
Jim Melwert contributed to this report.
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