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Officer: Inmate boasted of Geoghan killing

WORCESTER -- Joseph Druce could not contain his pride and excitement as he admitted killing defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan in his prison cell, according to the officer who interviewed Druce after the slaying.

''I killed the child molester," Druce blurted out, according to Department of Correction Lieutenant Edward Hammond, who said Druce made the statement before he had the chance to read him his Miranda rights. Druce then made a full confession after he was advised of his right to remain silent, Hammond said.

''He wanted to comply. He wanted to talk about the whole entire incident," Hammond said yesterday, testifying during a hearing on a motion by Druce's lawyer to prevent prosecutors from using Druce's statements during his trial. Hammond said Druce signed a waiver of his Miranda rights as ''Rev. Joseph Druce," with a ''big, old smile" on his face.

What followed was an animated narrative delivered by Druce about how he slipped into Geoghan's cell in August 2003, jammed the door shut so no one could enter, then beat the 68-year-old priest and strangled him with a pair of socks ''until he observed blood coming out of inmate Geoghan's nose and ears," Hammond said.

''He definitely indicated that he'd be famous, that the pope would know him," Hammond said.

Geoghan, a key figure in the clergy sex abuse crisis, was serving a nine- to 10-year sentence for molesting a 10-year-old boy. He had also been accused of abuse by more than 130 people in lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Boston. Druce, 40, is serving a life sentence for murder in a 1988 killing. Hammond said Druce -- who turned 40 yesterday -- told him he wanted to kill Geoghan so the former priest ''wouldn't touch any more kids."

Druce's lawyer, John LaChance, is planning an insanity defense in the case and wants to have his client's statements to investigators barred from coming up at the trial.

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