Janitor Accused in NJ Priest Slay Due in Court

Thursday, Oct 29, 2009  |  Updated 8:15 AM EDT
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Janitor Accused in NJ Priest Slay Due in Court

Rev. Edward Hinds was found dead in the rectory of his church.

The janitor accused of stabbing a New Jersey priest 32 times has an initial court appearance today.
    

Jose Feliciano is held on $1 million bail, charged with murdering the Rev. Ed Hinds in the rectory of St. Patrick Church in Chatham.     
Court documents say the pastor discussed firing Feliciano one day before his death.
    
Prosecutors claim Hinds told the principal of St. Patrick Church school last Wednesday that the janitor's criminal background investigation box had not been checked. What's not clear is whether Feliciano had failed the check or one was never done.
    
A wake for the priest is scheduled for Friday and a funeral Mass is set for Saturday at the church he called home.

Meanwhile, authorities are investigating why a 911 call made from Hinds' cell phone the evening before he was found dead didn't result in a police response. The call was made last Thursday night from Hinds' cell phone in Chatham and received at a call center operated by the New Jersey State Police, prosecutors said. 

The caller requested police services before the call was cut off. The operator called back and got another man believed to be the suspect Jose Feliciano, who told the operator there was no emergency. Hinds' body was found Friday morning in the church rectory, where he was apparently brewing coffee before he was killed.

Investigators are probing whether the state police dispatcher notified local police about the call.

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