Haverhill Nursing Home Patient, 76, Dies After Assault by 83-Year-Old

Oxford Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, 689 Main St., Haverhill was the scene of an Oct. 5, 2019 murder. (WHAV News file photograph.)

A 76-year-old Haverhill nursing home patient is dead and an 83-year-old is charged in connection with his death.

The victim, Robert Boucher, was assaulted sometime before 7:30, last night, at Oxford Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, 689 Main St., according to Carrie Kimball, spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

“Police found a 76-year old male suffering from injuries a result of a physical assault.  He was transported to Holy Family Hospital where he was pronounced dead,” Kimball said.

Jose Veguilla, Boucher’s roommate, was arrested and taken to Holy Family Hospital and later Bridgewater State Hospital where he is being evaluated, she said. He will be arraigned Monday at Haverhill District Court. The charges were not listed.

Haverhill Police initially were dispatched to the 120-bed nursing home for a report of an “assaultive patient.” If confirmed, it is Haverhill’s first reported murder of 2019.

The Oxford, as it is known locally, is operated by Athena Health Care Systems of Farmington, Conn. Last March, the home was fined by Attorney General Maura Healey to “resolve allegations that the facility failed to adequately train staff on how to treat residents with histories of substance use disorder or administer naloxone and failed to have sufficient policies or procedures to treat residents with histories of substance use disorder.”

Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services placed The Oxford on a list of candidates for designation as a “special focus facility” because of a history of deficiencies. Those that make the list are inspected twice as often as other nursing homes. Medicare gives the center an overall rating of “much below average.”

The company, which was organized in 1984, is headed by Lawrence G. Santilli, and operates in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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