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Drama In NJ Court As Prosecutor Spars With Accused Killer Of Chatham Priest

Jose Feliciano (credit: CBS 2)

Jose Feliciano (credit: CBS 2)

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBS 2) — There were fireworks inside a New Jersey courtroom Tuesday at the murder trial of a church custodian accused of killing a priest in the rectory.

Sheriffs had to surround accused killer Jose Feliciano when he got into a heated argument with Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi. Feliciano is accused of killing Father Edward Hinds.

Prosecutor: “There’s a lot of things that you just testified to under oath here before the jury that are very different than what you said in your statement.”

Feliciano: “No Sir, not really. Not really, not really sir. Not really, if you want to say that…but not really. Don’t change my story sir.”

The judge ordered jurors out of the courtroom after that exchange between Feliciano and the prosecutor.

As expected, when Bianchi cross-examined Feliciano, it was very different from Monday’s back-and-forth with him and his own lawyer.

Feliciano said Monday he killed Father Hinds of St. Patrick’s Church in Chatham after hearing voices saying “Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s do it. Let’s do it” and later adding “I just went crazy, crazy and I approached him. And when I approached him I stabbed him and that’s when I lost it and I know that we rolled over.”

Within minutes after Tuesday’s exchange, jurors had to be hustled out and sheriffs surrounded Feliciano.

The judge admonished everyone, but if Bianchi had wanted to establish that Feliciano would lie about killing Father Hinds, he may have succeeded.

Prosecutor: “You didn’t care about the truth because you were concerned about yourself. Isn’t fair to say?”

Feliciano: “No sir. I just didn’t want nobody to know what I did sir.”

Bianchi was referring to the 911 call the priest made as he was being stabbed and Feliciano’s voice when the 911 operator called back.

Feliciano: “Hello.”

Dispatcher: “This is the state police. You called 911, do you have an emergency?”

Feliciano: “No, we don’t. Thank you.”

Father Hinds: “Yes, we do.”

Dispatcher: “No?”

Feliciano: “Hello, no, thank you.”

Feliciano admitted he lied to the investigator who first questioned him about that 911 call.

Feliciano: “In the beginning I didn’t want Captain Paul to know what I did…”

Prosecutor: “So you lied to him?”

Feliciano: “Yes I did.”

Feliciano claims Father Hinds abused him for years, and that he snapped when Hinds said he was going to fire him.

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