PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts (WBZ) — A 19-year-old man who allegedly believed he was exorcising demons from his father before his death in a Duxbury pond has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation. Jack Callahan was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty to a murder charge Tuesday in Plymouth District Court.
Police said Callahan went to a bar in Boston Sunday night to get his father, 57-year-old Scott Callahan, who wasn’t supposed to be drinking. An Uber picked them up and dropped them off at Island Creek Pond in Crocker Park near their home in Duxbury.
Jack said his father hit him. Then, the fight moved into the pond. Prosecutor Shanan Buckingham said Callahan told investigators he believed he was baptizing his father in the pond to exorcise his demons.
“He described that he was holding his father in the pond on his back like a baby, that he continually dunked his father’s head in the water about four-to-eight times, that when the father started to cough and choke, he would lift his head up and then when the father started to fight and strike him, he pushed the head back down into the water. He did so until his father was no longer struggling and floating,” Buckingham said in court.
“The defendant indicated to officers that he made statements to the victim at this time, stating, ‘I left him there to decide, you can come to heaven with me or hell. I think he chose hell.’”
Callahan told investigators he blacked out and when he woke up his father was missing.
Duxbury Police received a call around 2 a.m. Monday that Jack Callahan was “acting erratically.” First responders later found Scott Callahan at the bottom of the pond. He was then rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth where he was pronounced dead.
Hours later, Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz’s office said Jack Callahan was under arrest and charged with his father’s murder.
In court Tuesday, Callahan’s attorney Kevin Reddington asked the judge to send the teen to Bridgewater State Hospital for an evaluation of his mental health, adding that Callahan is a danger to himself.
The judge ordered Callahan held in jail without bail, but ordered the court clinician to evaluate him.
Callahan is due back in court August 12.