SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man accused of killing an 88-year-old veterinarian at the victim’s Rolando-area clinic pleaded not guilty Monday to murder.

Patrick O’ Brien, 37, is accused in last Wednesday’s slaying of Clark Kelly, a longtime vet at Boulevard Animal Clinic on El Cajon Boulevard.

Officers responded to the clinic about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, where a citizen behind the clinic had detained the suspected perpetrator, later identified as O’Brien.

Kelly was found inside the building suffering from a head wound and other injuries, before being taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead just before 5 p.m., police said.

According to SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski, the victim may have interrupted a break-in, leading to a confrontation between the men.

O’Brien remains held without bail following Monday morning’s arraignment. The criminal complaint charges him with a lone murder count, meaning he could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.

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