January 09, 2006

Inmate's lawyer to argue insanity in Geoghan killing

Boston Globe

By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff | January 9, 2006

The lawyer for Joseph L. Druce, charged with killing a former priest who was being held for pedophile acts, said yesterday that he hopes to convince jurors that Druce was insane when he allegedly choked and beat the priest, a convicted pedophile, to death in a state prison two years ago.

Druce's trial is scheduled to start today with jury selection in Worcester Superior Court. Druce is accused in the August 2003 killing of John Geoghan, the former priest. Geoghan was serving a 9- to-10-year sentence for having groped a 10-year-old boy.

The two men were placed in the same protective custody unit at the maximum-security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, where Druce, who was serving a life sentence for another murder, allegedly strangled Geoghan and then is reported to have stomped on his body.

''We believe that he has a major mental illness that prevented him from being able to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law," Druce's lawyer, John H. LaChance of Framingham, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Posted by kshaw at January 9, 2006 06:49 AM