January 25, 2006

Druce returns to court with black eye

Telegram & Gazette


WORCESTER— Jury deliberations in Worcester Superior Court resumed today in the Joseph L. Druce murder trial.

Mr. Druce appeared in court this morning with a black eye. His lawyer John H. LaChance told reporters his client related to him that he was assaulted Tueday night at the state prison in Walpole, by “someone employed by the correction department.”

According to the lawyer, Mr. Druce said he was pushed, struck on the side of his head and punched in the eye by a man who accompanied him back to his cell in Walpole’s 10-block. The alleged assault took place soon after Mr. Druce made a telephone call to Mr. LaChance, according to the lawyer.

Mr. LaChance told reporters this morning Mr. Druce said the assault was unprovoked and that the man who struck him was wearing a T-shirt rather than the traditional uniformed shirt with a name tag. Mr. LaChance said his client also reported that he returned to Walpole from court Tuesday night to find that a small television in his cell had been smashed, his watch stolen and that someone had spat on his bed.

Mr. LaChance said the assault and damage appeared to be “directly related” to testimony Mr. Druce gave of alleged mistreatment by correction officers and his work as a prison informant.

Mr. Druce has raised an insanity defense to the 2003 prison slaying of defrocked pedophile priest John J. Geoghan at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.

Posted by kshaw at January 25, 2006 12:28 PM