Jury convicts janitor of murdering NJ priest

Thursday, December 22, 2011
jose feliciano

A jury has convicted a former janitor of murder in the fatal stabbing of a northern New Jersey priest.

The panel in Morris County reached its verdict in the trial of Jose Feliciano after about five hours of deliberations spanning Wednesday and Thursday.

Feliciano didn't deny stabbing the Rev. Edward Hinds to death in the rectory of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church in Chatham in 2009.

But the Easton, Pa., resident's lawyer told jurors during closing arguments on Monday that Feliciano was being sexually blackmailed by Hinds and killed him in a fit of rage.

The prosecution said the janitor "slaughtered" the priest after Hinds fired him because the priest had discovered Feliciano had an outstanding arrest warrant in Philadelphia from the 1980s for sexually touching a child.

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