Druce's Mother Testifies in Murder Trial

January 19, 2006

(CBS4) WORCESTER Joseph Druce's mother took the stand Thursday as his defense team began presenting its case in the trial of the prison inmate charged with murdering defrocked priest John Geoghan.

Donna Gauthier said her son was a disturbed child who was beaten by his father, frequently fought with other children and became obsessed with sex at a young age.

Gauthier testified that by the time her son finished kindergarten, he was so aggressive and disruptive in class that he was sent to a residential school for children with behavioral problems. As a young teenager, Druce was sent to a program for emotionally disturbed youths at a state psychiatric hospital.

The defense is trying to convince the jury that Druce was mentally ill when he beat and strangled Geoghan in his prison cell at Sousa-Baranowski state prison.

The prosecution rested its case this morning.

The state's final witness was state trooper Wayne Gerhardt, one of two state police investigators who interviewed Druce on the day Geoghan was killed.

Gerhardt said Druce appeared proud of his actions. At one point, Gerhardt said Druce demonstrated how he jumped on top of Geoghan and strangled him.

"He felt as though the prison population would feel as though he was a hero," Gerhardt said. At one point, Druce got on the floor and acted out the killing, assuming a straddled position to show how he jumped on top of Geoghan and strangled him.Druce told Gerhardt and another investigator, trooper David Napolitano, that "the world wanted it to happen."

Druce said: "I killed him so that he couldn't hurt any more kids," Napolitano testified earlier Thursday. "He said he was going to make my career," Napolitano said.

Testimony was postponed Tuesday and Wednesday because Druce's lead defense attorney and a juror were ill.


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