New Jersey — An arrest in the brutal slaying of a Roman Catholic priest has brought little solace to his parishioners in this affluent community, who widely view the suspected role of the longtime church janitor as a second tragedy.
More than 150 people at St. Patrick’s Church for Sunday’s early Mass prayed for the Rev. Ed Hinds, whose body was discovered in the church rectory Friday, and for Jose Feliciano, who is charged with stabbing the priest 32 times with a kitchen knife.
“This is a tragedy for this community,” the Rev. Owen Moran said after leading Mass. “It’s a tragedy for Father Ed and his family, and it’s a tragedy for the Feliciano family.”
Authorities say the slaying occurred about 5 p.m. Thursday after an argument between Hinds and Feliciano in the rectory.
Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi told CNN on Saturday that the two men argued “over Feliciano’s continued employment.” However, his office issued a statement late Sunday afternoon saying that wasn’t the only possible motive investigators are pursuing.