St. Patrick Church janitor’s bail kept at $1 million

| October 29, 2009

CHATHAM – Jose Feliciano, charged in the death of St. Patrick Church pastor Father Edward Hinds, had a past that he had covered up.

Feliciano, 64, employed as a janitor at the church, had used aliases, false Social Security numbers and had been charged with an indecent assault on a child 21 years ago in Philadelphia, said the prosecutor at Feliciano's court hearing today.

Feliciano appeared before Judge Thomas V. Manahan in Morristown, who ordered the janitor's bail to be kept at $1 million, cash only.

Feliciano was charged with the Friday, Oct. 23, murder of the church's pastor, said Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi at a news conference Saturday evening, Oct. 24.

Feliciano, who had been employed at the church for 17 years, was arrested at his home at 4:50 p.m. Saturday, in the stabbing death of "Father Ed," as the pastor was known to parishioners.

Rev. Hinds had been stabbed 32 times with wounds to his entire body, said the prosecutor. The 61-year-old priest was said to have suffered defensive wounds to his hands, and bruises and contusions of the face.

The pastor's body was discovered in the rectory Friday morning after he failed to appear for the church's 8 a.m. Mass.

According to the county prosecutor, Rev. Hinds and Feliciano had an argument Thursday at about 5 p.m., and Feliciano stabbed the priest, and then went home to Easton.

On Friday morning, authorities said, Feliciano returned to the rectory, and made a "fledgling attempt at CPR" while acting shocked that the priest was dead.

Authorities said the janitor was the subject of suspicion early on because Feliciano's attempt at CPR did not seem convincing.

Police went to Feliciano's home in Easton and discovered bloody clothes, a bloody towel, and Rev. Hinds' cell phone, officials said.

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Category: Church Security

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