Catholic priest accused of beauty queen’s murder headed to trial

A former Catholic priest who has lengthy been thought-about a suspect within the 1960 homicide of a Texas magnificence queen will stand trial.

John Bernard Feit, eighty four, was indicted on homicide expenses in February 2016 within the dying of 25-yr-previous Irene Garza.

Garza, a schoolteacher and Miss All South Texas Sweetheart 1958, vanished in April 1960 after visiting Sacred Coronary heart Catholic Church in McAllen for confession throughout Holy Week.

Her physique was present in a canal 5 days after she disappeared. An post-mortem revealed that she had been raped whereas unconscious after which crushed and suffocated, in response to CBS.

Feit, who was a visiting priest at Sacred Coronary heart on the time of Garza’s homicide, was questioned by authorities however later dominated out as a suspect after church officers allegedly pressured police to go away him alone, the Houston Chronicle stories.

Former priest John Bernard Feit will go to trial for the death of Irene Garza.

Former priest John Bernard Feit will go to trial for the demise of Irene Garza.

(Maricopa County Sheriff’s Workplace by way of AP)

The case went chilly for many years till police and Texas Rangers reopened it in 2002 and commenced interviewing witnesses.

One one that talked to authorities was Rev. Joseph O’Brien. Based on the Houston Chronicle, O’Brien advised investigators that Feit had scratches on his arms across the time Garza vanished. The reverend stated Feit additionally confessed to the killing.

The re-opened case sparked a grand jury probe in 2004, however Feit was by no means indicted because of a scarcity of latest proof.

The case went chilly once more, till it turned the middle of the 2014 race for Hildago County district lawyer. Ricardo Rodriguez, who was operating to exchange Rene Guerra, promised to re-open the case and convey justice to Garza’s household if he gained.

Not Released (NR)

Sacred Coronary heart Catholic Church in Edinburg, Texas. 

(Bettmann Archive)

After his win, Rodriguez requested a brand new grand jury which led to Feit being indicted in 2016. The previous priest was arrested in February that yr at his Arizona residence and extradited again to Texas. Since being transferred, Feit has remained on the Hidalgo County jail beneath 24-hour medical watch due to his well being.  

The trial is about to start with opening arguments on the finish of the week.

Feit has repeatedly denied his involvement in Garza’s dying.

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