Prosecution looks to poke holes in alleged Chatham priest-killer’s testimony during murder trial

| December 1, 2011

MORRISTOWN — The prosecution hammered away at a former church custodian for the second straight day Wednesday, maintaining he gave investigators two different accounts of the event that led to the fatal stabbing of a Chatham priest.

Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi accused a nervous and shaky Jose Feliciano of telling two tales, first that the Rev. Edward Hinds fired him for ending their sexual affair and that the priest let him go because of unspecified problems.

Feliciano has said Hinds was blackmailing him for sex and then fired him five months before the janitor would have been eligible to retire. Feliciano maintains the case is one of manslaughter, which carries a lighter sentence than the murder charge he faces.

The custodian has admitted stabbing Hinds 44 times on Oct. 22, 2009, but said he was provoked when the priest fired him after allegedly blackmailing him for four years, forcing unwanted sexual contact in exchange for keeping the custodian’s criminal past quiet.

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Category: Church Security

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