The Premiere Website For Police News In Texas

          



 

Ex-Priest Gets Trial Date in Cold-Case Murder
Edinburg
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   A Texas Death Row Inmate’s Fight for Basic Justice Is Finally Heading to the Supreme Court
ߦ   Apartment Fire in NW Houston Injures Two
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Daily Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   City officials convicted of Bribery, Wire Fraud
ߦ   Death Row inmate will be re-sentenced to life in prison
ߦ   Drug Smuggler Gets Nearly 10 Years in Prison
ߦ   Jack Roady Re-Election Kickoff & Fundraiser - June 29
ߦ   League City Fourth of July activities
ߦ   Nacogdoches County Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Drug Trafficking
ߦ   New Lieutenant to take charge of Coast Guard operations in South Padre Island
ߦ   Parole denied for Manson follower Krenwinkel in California
ߦ   Possession of Marijuana / Money Seizure
ߦ   Statement of Christopher A. Wray FBI Director Nominee
ߦ   Unruly passenger on flight to Houston released from federal custody
ߦ   SUBSCRIBE To Texas Police News
ߦ   Employment
ߦ   Police News - Calendar of Events
ߦ   Arrest in Shooting of Man at 6320 Windswept #604
ߦ   Avery, Texas Man Sentenced for 2015 Northeast Texas Crime Spree
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Daily Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Coast Guard medevacs man off fishing vessel in Gulf of Mexico
ߦ   Fatality Motor Vehicle Accident
ߦ   IN MEMORIAM - David Eugene Hagler
ߦ   Investigation into Fatal Crash at 8500 East Freeway
ߦ   Investigation into Shooting at 15420 West Hardy #115
ߦ   Investigation into Shooting at 3717 Amos
ߦ   Paris Police Dept - Weekend Arrests/Activity Summary
ߦ   Fatality Motor Vehicle Accident Updated 06/24/2017
ߦ   14 Jailed In Drug Trafficking, Money Laundering
ߦ   Arrest Brings Shocking Discoveries in 1988 Texas Cold Case
ߦ   Batman arrests shoplifter in Fort Worth
ߦ   Burnet County Sheriff's Office - Inmate/Arrests Summary
ߦ   Coast Guard searches for missing man in San Antonio Bay
ߦ   Constables arrest 2 for Burglary of a habitation and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle
ߦ   Copperas Cove PD Needs Help Identifying Counterfeiters

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:
ERIK DE LA GARZA
Courthouse News Service
February 17, 2017

EDINBURG, Texas (CN) – An April trial date has been set for the former Catholic priest charged with the 1960 murder of a South Texas beauty queen whose body was found dumped in an irrigation canal after she confessed to him.

A Hidalgo County judge this week scheduled 84-year-old John Feit’s trial for April 24. Feit, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted of killing Irene Garza, a 25-year-old elementary school teacher who was murdered more than 56 years ago.

Feit was flown from his home in Arizona to face murder charges in South Texas a year ago and has remained in the Hidalgo County Jail infirmary since then. The indictment charges the ex-priest with murder by asphyxiation.

Now frail and using a walker in courtroom appearances, Feit was a 27-year-old priest in McAllen when Garza’s half-clothed body was discovered in a canal days after she was last seen going to confession at Sacred Heart Church. He became the prime suspect almost immediately after Garza’s April 16, 1960 slaying stunned the community.

An autopsy determined that the former Miss All South Texas Sweetheart had been beaten, suffocated and raped while unconscious on the day before Easter. Feit has always denied involvement in the crime but acknowledged that a Kodak photographic slide viewer found near Garza’s body belonged to him.

The church later moved Feit into a monastery, according to old press reports on the case, and nobody was ever charged.

The cold case began to heat up in the early 2000s when former Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra attempted to pursue charges.

A Rio Grande Valley grand jury’s refusal to indict Feit in 2004 sparked a firestorm of criticism, led largely by Garza’s family.

The case was propelled to the national spotlight when a series of news outlets reported on the story, which became a lightning rod in the 2014 race for district attorney. The cold case took center stage in that election, with Garza’s family blaming Guerra for failing to present enough evidence to indict Feit.

Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez ousted the 32-year incumbent and told supporters he would re-examine the case. After Feit’s arrest last year, Rodriguez announced that “new facts and evidence” were uncovered during the most recent investigation of the case.

A pretrial date is scheduled for April 20.

Feit is represented by Edinburg attorney O. Rene Flores and Ricardo Flores of McAllen.

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
  Facebook   Share link on Twitter Tweet  


© 1999-2017 The Police News. All rights reserved.