Warren man charged in murder of Barrington chiropractor

Owen Morris, 21, is son of Allison Newsome and Spencer Morris

EastBayRI.com ·

A member of a prominent Warren family has been charged with the murder of a Barrington chiropractor and will be arraigned on a first degree murder charge Tuesday afternoon in Sixth Division District Court in Providence.

Owen Morris, 21, the son of Spencer Morris and Allison Newsome of 18 Cole St., was arrested Monday afternoon in connection with the murder of Dr. Clive Bridgham, 67, an East Providence resident.

East Providence police allege that Mr. Morris stabbed Dr. Bridgham to death inside his Pleasant Street home; they found Dr. Bridgham dead on Thursday, Jan. 11, after receiving a request to check on his well-being.

Mr. Morris comes from a well-known family in Warren. His father founded Nitrotap on Child Street, and his mother is a prominent sculptor. Owen has a sister, Arden, and was attending the University of Rhode Island. The family owns a second home on Prudence Island and has been active in island life there.

Until recently, Dr. Bridgham operated a practice in Barrington — the Barrington Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Clinic — out of an office located on County Road. 

In Nov. 2017, he voluntarily surrendered his license back to the Rhode Island Department of Health after was alleged to have “violated the professional boundaries of the chiropractic physician-patient relationship” with a 19-year-old male patient.

It was not the first time Dr. Bridgham had been involved in such conduct. In April of 2003, he was placed on probation by the Department of Health for three years after admitting to a sexual encounter with someone who was described as a “sibling” of a family he was treating. 

Despite the fall from grace, it appeared Dr. Bridgham was a well-respected member of his profession. He was a past president of the Chiropractic Society of Rhode Island and was once named the organization’s Chiropractic Physician of the Year.

As late as 2016, Dr. Bridgham was selected to treat United State athletes at the Rio Summer Olympic Games. Previously, he practiced at noteworthy events such as international surfing, windsurfing and biathalon competitions and the X-Games. Described in published reports as an avid surfer, he also worked the World Surfing Games.

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