Trial to start this week in Chatham priest’s stabbing death

| October 16, 2011

CHATHAM — Nearly two years after the Rev. Edward Hinds was found lying in a pool of blood in the rectory of St. Patrick Church in Chatham — the victim of 32 stab wounds — his alleged assailant will be going to trial this week.

Jose Feliciano, 66, of Easton, Pa., the church’s former custodian, is accused of murder in the death of the popular 61-year-old priest whose funeral was attended by more than 1,000 people.

Jury selection is expected to be completed tomorrow morning in Superior Court in Morristown and officials anticipate attorneys will make their opening statements in the afternoon or Tuesday morning.

In his opening, Feliciano’s public defender, Neill Hamilton, will reveal his defense for the first time.

Hamilton may have tipped his hand a bit during the debate over questions that would be posed to potential jurors. The attorney was upset when Judge Thomas Manahan refused to ask them a series of questions about sexual impropriety, including whether they would be biased "if there is an allegation of sexual activity by a Roman Catholic priest."

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Category: Church Security

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