Mass. high court rejects new trial for inmate convicted of killing pedophile priest

Court rejects appeal in pedophile priest killing

BOSTON — The highest court in Massachusetts has rejected an appeal by an inmate convicted of killing a priest at the center of the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal.

Joseph Druce strangled John Geoghan (GAY’-gan) in his prison cell in August 2003. Geoghan was in prison for fondling a 10-year-old boy, and was accused of sexually abusing more than 100 other children.

The defense argued Druce was mentally ill.

Prosecutors said Druce was a calculating killer who planned the slaying so he could be a “big shot” in prison.

The Supreme Judicial Court on Monday rejected Druce’s claim the statements he made after the priest’s killing were not voluntary because of his mental illness. Druce told police he killed Geoghan to keep him from molesting others.

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