Joseph O'Boyle will spend 37-74 years in prison for killing of Bensalem chiropractor

The man who admitted to killing Dr. James Sowa inside the chiropractor's home office in Bensalem in November 2020 was convicted Friday, June 10, 2022, of 3rd-degree murder and sentenced to 37 to 74 years in state prison. 

Joseph O'Boyle, 23, of Bensalem, entered an open guilty plea two weeks ago to criminal homicide generally, criminal trespassing, and possession of an instrument of crime, leading to a degree-of-guilt hearing this week before President Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr.

For three days this week, Deputy District Attorney Megan Hunsicker and Assistant District Attorney Christine Sassane presented evidence, including surveillance footage and testimony from several witnesses, to show O’Boyle intentionally killed Dr. Sowa in his chiropractic home office on Nov. 2, 2020.

O’Boyle had previously pleaded guilty to assaulting a Bensalem detective investigating the homicide.

Dr. Sowa, 64, was found dead at his home and chiropractic office, located at 3161 Hulmeville Road, on Nov. 2, 2020. Dr. Sowa was found in the kitchen, but blood was found throughout the home and in his personal business office. 

The investigation determined that O'Boyle entered the chiropractic office without an appointment and attacked Dr. Sowa by hitting him three times on the back of the head with a blunt object, with two of those strikes fracturing his skull.

While Dr. Sowa was incapacitated on the floor, O'Boyle repeatedly struck Dr. Sowa's jaw area with a blunt object or rammed his jaw area with a blunt object. Those blows caused Dr. Sowa's death. 

Dr. Sowa's records showed O'Boyle had been a patient of his in September 2020. O’Boyle’s relatives said O'Boyle was upset about the treatment he received that day for jaw pain, telling them he wanted to sue Dr. Sowa for making his pain worse. 

The killing of Dr. Sowa was investigated by Detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bensalem Township Police Department, with the assistance of the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury.

Deputy District Attorney Megan Hunsicker and Assistant District Attorney Christine Sassane prosecuted the case.  

Media Contact: Manuel Gamiz Jr., 215.348.6298,