Church Janitor Allegedly Killed Priest Over Job

Reverend Hines called 9-1-1 while he was being attacked

A church janitor charged with murdering a Chatham priest in the Saint Patrick Roman Catholic Church parish rectory was worried about losing his job, according to investigators.

Jose Feliciano, 64, of Easton, Pa. was stressed over financial and health problems for several months, investigators said.  In an interview with CNN, Morris County prosecutor Robert Bianchi said Feliciano snapped and brutally attacked Reverend Edward Hinds over an argument “over continued employment”.

Feliciano confessed to stabbing Reverend Hines 37 times with a kitchen knife Thursday. Hinds did manage to call 9-1-1 from his cell phone during the brutal attack.  Hinds told the operator needed help but the call was cut off shortly after that, according to police.

The dispatch operator called back, but Feliciano allegedly answered the phone and said “everything’s fine,” according to police.

Feliciano worked for the church for 17 years and his family was part of the parish. His son is a graduate of the church’s K-8 school and his daughter is a student there.

Feliciano was scheduled to appear for a bail hearing Tuesday morning but no word on why it was canceled. Feliciano is being held on $1 million bail since his arrest.

Parishioners stunned by the priest’s death released a statement that read:

“We are grieved at the loss of Father Edward Hinds, beloved pastor of St. Patrick Church in Chatham, whose life has been cut tragically short. We join together with the parishioners, families and friends of Father Hinds in prayers for the repose of his soul.”

“May God grant him eternal rest.”


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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