With custodian convicted of murder, family of slain Chatham priest breaths sigh of vindication

| December 25, 2011

CHATHAM BOROUGH — For six weeks, they listened to statements in which Jose Feliciano described their relative as a predatory priest who forced him into an unwanted sexual relationship.

Thursday, they felt vindicated when a jury convicted the former Chatham church custodian of murder, rejecting his contention that he stabbed the Rev. Edward Hinds in retaliation for the alleged abuse.

"The happy part is that his reputation gets restored," said Daniel Silas Miller of Chatham Township, Hinds’ cousin and one of his closest living relatives. "It was just disgusting. It’s like he was slaughtered twice."

"Everything this man (Feliciano) said was nothing but lies and a farce to save his own skin," Miller added. "It’s a shame that this pig was able to take such a precious commodity from our community. Ed Hinds was a good man."

Miller, 49, Hinds’ second cousin, grew up with the future priest in the Green Village section of the township.

Hinds’ brother and parents are dead and no members of his immediate family are left, Miller said.

"I don’t know if I’m happy," Miller added. "I just know justice has been served."

The jury in Superior Court in Morristown announced its verdict after deliberating for a total of five hours between Wednesday afternoon and yesterday morning. Feliciano was found guilty of both murder and felony murder.

Miller’s wife, Carol Ann, wept as the verdict was announced.

"I’m glad it’s over," she said.



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