EDINBURG, Texas – A former priest was convicted Thursday of the 1960 slaying of a South Texas instructor and one-time magnificence queen who was a member of the parish he served.
A Hidalgo County jury deliberated 6½ hours earlier than returning its verdict within the homicide trial of eighty five-yr-previous John Bernard Feit, after listening to 5 days of testimony on Irene Garza’s strangulation dying fifty seven years in the past.
The jury will start listening to proof Friday morning on what punishment Feit ought to obtain. He could possibly be sentenced to as much as ninety nine years or life imprisonment.
Prosecutors Michael Garza, who was not associated to the sufferer, and Krystine Ramon hugged members of Irene Garza’s household after the decision was learn. District Lawyer Ricardo Rodriguez, who campaigned for election partially on a pledge to reopen the Garza homicide case, embraced his workforce of prosecutors and the Garza household, a few of whom shed tears of aid.
A stone-confronted John Feit was led from the courtroom again to his county jail cell to await the morning.
Authorities stated Garza, 25, visited Sacred Coronary heart Catholic Church in McAllen, the place Feit was a priest, on April sixteen, 1960. Garza, who was Miss All South Texas Sweetheart 1958, had deliberate to go to confession that night. She by no means returned residence, and her bludgeoned physique was discovered days later. An post-mortem discovered that she had been raped whereas unconscious and had been crushed and suffocated.
Feit, who was 28 on the time, got here beneath suspicion early on, telling police that he heard Garza’s confession…