Janitor Charged in NJ Priest's Stabbing Death
He confesses, citing argument; cops probe possible relationship
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2009 7:11 AM CDT
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi holds up a photo of Jose Feliciano in Morristown, NJ, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009. Feliciano is being held in connection with the death of Rev. Ed Hinds.   (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A janitor and "second father" to kids at a New Jersey Catholic church has been charged in the murder of a beloved parish priest, who he rushed to halfheartedly give CPR when he and church workers discovered the body. Jose Feliciano told police he and Father Ed Hinds had argued before he beat and stabbed him 32 times; Feliciano said he then took the dead cleric's cell phone, along with bloody clothes and rags he used to clean the scene, and caught a ride home with his wife.

Police did not describe the nature of the argument, but said they were investigating a possible relationship between the two men. After authorities traced the cell phone to the Pennsylvania town where Feliciano lives, he directed them to a garbage can in a nearby park, where he had disposed of the knife, cell phone, and rags.