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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Defrocked Priest Killed in Prison

Aired August 25, 2003 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening to you. I'm Anderson cooper. Thank you for joining us tonight. The murder of John Geoghan was a planned and deliberate act, that according to a Massachusetts district attorney who today outlined how a fellow prison inmate carefully planned Geoghan's strangulation for more than a month.
CNN's Jason Carroll has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Prosecutors describe Joseph Druce as a man filled with a long-standing hatred of homosexuals, serving a life sentence for killing one.

He was housed in the same prison unit as John Geoghan, a defrocked priest convicted of molesting a young boy.

Boston's district attorney says Druce had been planning the murder for more than a month, using a book, nail clipper and toothbrush to jam Geoghan's cell door.

JOHN CONTE, WORCESTER DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The defendant tied Geoghan's hands behind his back with a T-shirt, threw him on the floor, took socks, which he had previously been stretching for some time, and used them to strangle.

CARROLL: The D.A. says Druce has confessed to beating Geoghan, then using a pillow case to strangle the former priest, telling authorities, getting him was a, quote, "prize."

The Department of Public Safety, which oversees the prison, is conducting a review.

EDWARD FLYNN, MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: We must find out why and what lessons can be learned as a result of this incident.

CARROLL: This is the second prison facility where Geoghan has served in Massachusetts. The first, in Concord, he felt threatened by inmates and guards, that according to a prison advocacy group which represented him.

JIM PINGEON, MASSACHUSETTS CORRECTIONAL LEGAL SERVICES: There were guards who were urinating in his cell, guards who were defecating in his cell.

CARROLL (on camera): Representatives from the Concord facility did not return our calls. Geoghan was moved to the Sussex (ph) facility, where he said he hoped things would be better.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: Still a lot of questions unanswered. Later in the hour, we're going to take a look behind the prison doors at how something like this could happen when we talk with the man who polices the prison system.

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