- Two men accused of selling meth to undercover cop (6/22/17)
- Cape man stabbed in head, arm after strip-club incident; skull fractured, police say (6/25/17)3
- Custom cuts: Local hairstylist provides free haircuts to special-needs children (6/26/17)3
- Police: Man grabbed wheel, tried to kill driver and himself in Jackson crash (6/23/17)
- Jackson scores high in survey of residents; better streets, Aldi are high priorities (6/20/17)4
- Annual SEMO District Fair event lineup announced (6/23/17)2
- Marble Hill mayor hires city manager without board approval (6/21/17)4
- Oran town board fired officer before hiring him as police chief; city officials say they can't remember reason for firing (6/25/17)2
- Playing with fire (6/25/17)
- Two charged in theft of jewelry from Cape storage facility (6/23/17)1
Man accused of killing priest faces evaluation
WORCESTER, Mass. -- A judge Friday 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 Boston-area priest.
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 threatened him.
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 competency evaluation.
The judge reissued a previous ruling instructing the Department of Corrections to allow private conversations between Druce and LaChance.
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.