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Church janitor charged with killing priest

Oct. 24, 2009 at 6:19 PM

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Oct. 24 (UPI) -- A janitor at a Catholic church in New Jersey was charged Saturday with killing a priest whose body was found in the kitchen of the church rectory.

Jose Feliciano, 64, allegedly stabbed the Rev. Edward Hinds, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said at a news conference. Investigators said the priest had been stabbed 32 times and had defensive wounds on his hands, suggesting a struggle, The (Newark) Star-Ledger reported.

Hinds's body was discovered Friday morning after he failed to appear at 8 a.m. mass at St. Patrick's Church in Chatham, a well-to-do suburb of about 10,000 people 25 miles west of New York.

A mass honoring Hinds was held Saturday morning in the gymnasium of the church parochial school. While Bianchi talked to reporters in Morristown, parishioners were at the 5 p.m. mass in the church.

Hinds, who grew up in Chatham, was ordained as a young man after study in Rome. He spent his life as a priest in the diocese of Paterson, which includes all of northwestern New Jersey, and had been at St. Patrick's since 2003.

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