January 25, 2006

Druce guilty in slaying of pedophile priest


By Denise Lavoie, AP Legal Affairs Writer | January 25, 2006

WORCESTER, Mass. --A jury on Wednesday found prison inmate Joseph Druce guilty of first-degree murder in the strangulation of pedophile priest John Geoghan, a central figure in Boston's clergy sex abuse scandal.

Druce admitted sneaking into Geoghan's cell in August 2003. He jammed the door shut with a book, then beat and strangled the 68-year-old Geoghan before the guards could stop him.

But Druce claimed he was severely mentally ill and under the delusion that God had chosen him to kill Geoghan and send a message to pedophiles around the world.

Testimony in the case largely centered on whether Druce was insane, or whether the killing was the work of a "calculating" murderer, as prosecutors alleged.

The jury of five women and seven men deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching the guilty verdict early Wednesday afternoon.

Posted by kshaw at January 25, 2006 12:30 PM