Two days after his arrest in connection with the murder of a prominent Barrington chiropractor, the family of murder suspect Owen Morris, 21, of Warren, is having a hard time dealing with the news of their son's arrest, his attorney said Wednesday.
“As you can imagine, the family is in shock and they are doing the best they can to wrap their heads around this,” attorney Jason Knight said.
Mr. Knight would not comment further on his client or the case. Mr. Morris, the son of Spencer Morris and Allison Newsome of 18 Cole St., is being held without bail at the ACI in connection with the death of Dr. Clive Bridghan. The chiropractor was found dead in his Rumford home on Thursday, Jan. 11, suffering from multiple stab wounds and cuts.
Christopher Parella, the chief of the East Providence Police Department, described the crime as "particularly brutal."
Chief Parella said Mr. Morris's family has been cooperative with police officers investigating the crime, but declined to recount specifics of their conversations.
Investigators have learned that Mr. Morris and Dr. Bridgham had a personal and professional relationship that began when Mr. Morris, a former University of Rhode Island lacrosse player, went to him for treatment of an undisclosed issue in 2016. A year later, Mr. Morris filed a complaint against the doctor with the Rhode Island Department of Health, alleging that Dr. Bridgham “violated the professional boundaries of the chiropractic physician-patient relationship” during the course of their acquaintance.
As a result of that complaint, Dr. Bridgham voluntarily surrendered his license to practice last October.
Chief Parella said Tuesday that to his knowledge Mr. Morris has never been charged with a crime, but police in Warren had had some contact with him in the past. As for motive, he said that while police have identified a clear motive in the case, he would not comment on it. He said that when police went to arrest him on Monday, Jan. 22, Mr. Morris was surprised.
"He did not not know we were going to arrest him," said the chief, who declined to say where or how Mr. Morris was arrested.
"That's as far as I'll go."