The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


Druce hospitalized again after swallowing object

By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff, 9/27/2003

Three weeks after he swallowed two pencils, Joseph L. Druce, who is accused of beating and strangling defrocked priest John J. Geoghan while in prison, was back in the hospital yesterday after swallowing pieces of the stem of a pair of eyeglasses.

Druce, 38, was taken to the state-operated Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Boston Thursday afternoon and was expected to be returned to the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley soon, according to Justin Latini, a state Department of Correction spokesman.

Latini said the injury was not life-threatening and declined to provide other details.

Druce's lawyer, John H. LaChance of Framingham, said he knew little about the episode, but called the two events a demonstration of Druce's need for a prompt psychiatric evaluation.

At Druce's arraignment last week, a judge granted a request by LaChance for funds to pay for an evaluation. LaChance is investigating an insanity defense for Druce, who was convicted in 1989 of murdering a man in Gloucester. He has pleaded not guilty to murder in Geoghan's death.

Druce swallowed two small pencils while in his cell Sept. 5 and was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester to have the objects removed from his stomach by endoscopic surgery.

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