US pedo priest killer to undergo psychiatric evaluation
October 6, 2003
WORCESTER, Massachusetts — A judge ordered a preliminary psychiatric evaluation for the
prison inmate accused of killing of a priest at the center of the
sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.
Joseph Druce is accused of beating and strangling defrocked
priest John Geoghan in his cell on Aug. 23. Geoghan, 68, a key
figure in the clergy abuse scandal, was serving a nine- to 10-year
prison term for groping a 10-year-old boy and was accused in civil
lawsuits of molesting nearly 150 boys over three decades as a
Druce, 38, has pleaded innocent in Geoghan's killing, and his
lawyer has indicated he may seek an insanity defense. He is already
serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of a gay man.
Druce interrupted Friday's pretrial hearing several times,
asking that he be allowed to display what he described as leg
injuries from his shackles and alleging a prison official had
His lawyer, John LaChance, said he is had trouble having
confidential conversations with his client, who is being held under
24-hour observation and is allowed to talk to LaChance only over
the telephone and through a transparent partition.
Judge John McCann ordered Druce to undergo a mental health
evaluation -the first step toward a more extensive 30-day
The judge reissued a previous ruling instructing the Department
of Corrections to allow private conversations between Druce and
In letters to newspapers, Druce has identified himself as
Geoghan's "exterminator" and said pedophiles should be castrated.
After he left the courtroom, Druce shouted an apparent criticism
of the sentence given this week to another pedophile priest, the
Rev. Robert E. Kelley, who was convicted of raping two young girls
in the early 1980s.
"They had the nerve to give that guy five to seven (years),"
Druce said. –Sapa-AP
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