A grand jury charged prison inmate Joseph Druce with murder today over the death of paedophile priest and fellow inmate John Geoghan, who was found strangled and beaten in his prison cell, authorities said.
Druce, who remains in prison, allegedly beat and strangled Geoghan in the former priest’s cell on August 23.
Geoghan, 68, was serving a nine to 10-year sentence for groping a boy of 10 and was accused of molesting nearly 150 boys over three decades. His case triggered the sex scandal that has rocked America’s Roman Catholic Church.
Druce, 38, was serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of a gay man. He unsuccessfully used an insanity defence during his 1989 trial in the killing of George Rollo, 51, who allegedly made a sexual advance towards Druce after picking him up hitchhiking.
The District Attorney for Worcester, Massachusetts, John J Conte, said today that Druce would face the new murder charge at a later date.
Druce’s lawyer, John LaChance, did not comment today.
In an interview last month, LaChance said he planned to pursue an insanity defence. “The impression that I got from him was that his beef with Geoghan was based on his serial mistreatment of little kids, and that he really wanted Geoghan to leave the kids alone,” he said.
Druce was briefly hospitalised last week after swallowing an object in his prison cell. Prison officials would not say what Druce swallowed or say if it was an accident or suicide attempt.