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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Inmate May Have Paid to Have Defrocked Priest Killed

Aired August 26, 2003 - 19:07   ET

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

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Back at home the investigation of defrocked priest John Geoghan's killing, it's takes an strange turn.
Jason Carroll has been talking to investigators. He joins me now.

Jason, what have you found?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, investigators have been very busy. Investigators are looking into the death of John Geoghan, and they say another inmate may have offered to pay his killer to murder the defrocked priest.

Joseph Druce told prosecutors he beat and then strangled Geoghan on Saturday. Druce said he acted alone. Investigators say Robert Assan (ph), an inmate at the facility, claims another prisoner offered to pay Druce to kill Geoghan, the motive unknown.

Investigators want to determine Assan's credibility. Assan was interviewed today by an attorney from Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services. That's an advocacy organization for prisoners.

The Wooster district attorney says Druce appears to be the single defendant, but he says they will be looking to whether or not anyone else was involved and they will interview Assan, as well.

A special panel has been appointed to investigate what happened. Geoghan's murder raised questions about why the former priest, who was in protective custody, was housed several cells away from Druce, who was serving a life sentence for killing a man who was gay.

Today, the governor of Massachusetts called Geoghan's murder a failure of government and he vowed to take steps to fix the state's prison system.

COOPER: All right. Jason Carroll, thanks very much for the update.

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