Slain priest told principal he might fire Easton janitor over background check, records say

| October 28, 2009

The day before his murder, the Rev. Edward Hinds told a school principal he might have to fire janitor Jose Feliciano over a missing background check, records say. Feliciano, an Easton resident, is now charged with stabbing the priest to death.

Hinds, 61, pastor at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Chatham, N.J., on Oct. 21 told Marianne Hobbie, principal of St. Patrick’s Catholic School, he may “let go” Feliciano because his employment record indicated he hadn’t passed a background check, records say.

A check mark was missing, Hinds told Hobbie, according to court records filed this afternoon at district court in Wind Gap. Hobbie told police Hinds provided no further information.

Ken Mullaney, the attorney for the Diocese of Paterson, said in news reports published Monday that Hinds intended to lay off Felicano because of money problems at the church.

Hinds’ body was found Friday in the church rectory, stabbed 32 times with a kitchen knife. Police say Felicano, 64, of 100 block of Ann Street in Easton, confessed to the killing.

He has been a janitor at the church since 1992.

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Category: Church Security

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