Former janitor admits he ‘grabbed’ cell phone from Chatham priest during fatal struggle

| December 1, 2011

MORRISTOWN — Former church custodian Jose Feliciano testified today that he grabbed a cell phone from a Chatham priest who was calling for help as he was being stabbed to death.

The admission that could buttress a charge of felony murder against Feliciano came on his fourth day of testimony, as the prosecution aggressively probed for inconsistencies in his story.

A tape of a 911 call, played during Feliciano’s murder trial in Morristown, showed the Rev. Edward Hinds gave the address of the rectory at St. Patrick Church before the emergency call was cut off.

Feliciano acknowledged today he was "struggling" with Hindswhen the priest called 911, and Feliciano "grabbed" the phone after hearing someone answer.

That statement could bolster the charge of felony murder, which accuses him of killing the priest while committing a felony — the robbery of the cell phone. The phone was found in a park near Feliciano’s home in Easton, Pa., two days after the killing on Oct. 22, 2009.

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Category: Church Security

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