Thursday, October 29

New Jersey Priest Murdered by Janitor


Thursday, October 29th 2009, 3:39 PM

The church janitor accused of brutally killing a New Jersey priest is staying behind bars.

Jose Feliciano, 64, was ordered held on $1 million cash bond Thursday at a court appearance where prosecutors revealed the suspect's past included using phony names and Social Security numbers.

Feliciano, who worked at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, was also wanted on a 1988 bench warrant issued in Philadelphia, prosecutors said.

He's charged with murdering the Rev. Ed Hinds inside the church rectory last week, stabbing the beloved priest 32 times.

Court officers held the shaky Feliciano by his belt until he could take a seat in the Morristown, N.J., courtroom for the bail hearing.

The murder suspect, wearing a khaki-colored jump suit, nodded uncertainly when asked he if understood the charges.

Feliciano is accused of first-degree murder, two counts of weapons possession and one count of trying to destroy evidence.

Prosecutors said he tried to cover up the heinous slaying, ditching the murder weapon and the slain priest's cell phone.

Feliciano also had blood in the cuticles of his fingers, and authorities recovered other physical evidence in the case, prosecutors said.

According to court documents, Hinds discussed firing Feliciano one day before the killing.

Photo By: Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger

Description: Jose Feliciano, left, the suspect in the brutal
slaying of a New Jersey priest, is lead into
Superior Court in Morristown, N.J. for a bail hearing.

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