Former Priest Convicted in Murder-for-hire Plot
By Melissa Cutler
My Fox DFW
May 17, 2012
A Dallas jury is deliberating the fate of a former Catholic priest convicted in a murder-for-hire plot.
Prosecutors said John Fiala, a Garland resident who once served in the San Antonio diocese, tried to hire an undercover police officer to kill a teenager who accused him of sexual assault.
Jurors heard a taped recording of a discussion between Fiala and the undercover officer about payment to a hit man.
Fiala's attorneys tried to argue that a neighbor was the one who hatched the scheme. But Fiala testified his neighbor had no motive.
The neighbor said after discussing the plot with Fiala he turned him in because he believed he was serious. That's when police set up with undercover sting.
The 52-year-old showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
Jurors will continue the punishment phase of the trial on Friday. The former priest could face life in prison for solicitation of capital murder.
He also still faces the original sex abuse charges. The 16-year-old victim accused him of sexually assaulting him at gunpoint in 2008.