Patrick O’Brien has been charged with a felony count of assault for attacking his father earlier this month. (Photo provided by the Sitka Police Department

UPDATE 7-27-23: 30-year old Patrick J. O’Brien changed his plea on June 26, 2023, as part of an agreement with the state that will put him behind bars for 25 years. Read the full story.

Original Report:

Note: Patrick O’Brien was indicted on Feb. 18 on charges of attempted murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, assault in the third degree and misconduct involved weapons in the third degree. As of 2/25/21, the autopsy report for James O’Brien from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office is still pending.

A Sitka man who was allegedly attacked by his son on Valentine’s Day (2-14-21) has died.

The Sitka Police Department received notice on Sunday (2-21-21) that 63-year-old James O’Brien Jr. died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, a week after sustaining head and facial fractures. 

O’Brien’s son, 28-year-old Patrick O’Brien, was charged with a felony count of assault for attacking his father on Kasiana Island on Feb. 14. Following the incident, James O’Brien was medevacked to Seattle. 

Sitka Police Department Lieutenant Jean Ashee said this sort of incident is uncommon in Sitka, but it does happen on occasion.

“Unfortunately, this one here has gone from an assault and moved its way up to somebody dying,” Ashee said.

In addition to a felony count of assault, Patrick O’Brien is also charged with one count of assault in the fourth degree, one count of possessing a firearm while intoxicated and one count of interfering with a report of domestic violence. Ashee said an investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.

“The next steps that we’re looking at is the King County Medical Examiner’s Office is going to be conducting an autopsy,” Ashee said. “And we need to find out cause and manner of death, at which point there’ll be a screening decision with the district attorney’s office to determine if there’s going to be additional charges added.”

He said he doesn’t know a timeline, but the department is hoping to get additional information in the next two to three days. Patrick O’Brien is currently being held at Sitka Jail pending $500,000 bail.