The Latest from Day 4: Judge to Rule on Motion for Mistrial Wednesday
By Lorenzo Zazueta-Castro
December 5, 2017
[Note: See also]
EDINBURG — John Feit, a former priest, is accused of the 1960 murder of Irene Garza after she went to confession at McAllen’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Here is the latest from the trial:
Following testimony from Thomas Doyle, an American Catholic priest, the state called another expert witness in the study of celibacy among Roman Catholic priests.
Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk, has written books about Catholicism and the sexual abuses arising from the Catholic Church's requirements of celibacy.
Sipe, who began collecting data in this field coincidentally the same year Irene Garza was killed, has written multiple books in this field and has had his research used most notably by the movie "Spotlight" — a 2015 film about the Catholic Church’s abuses in Boston.
The state established Sipe and Doyle as experts in these fields to argue that the church exhibited a pattern of concealing indiscretions by its priests.
The court recessed early for the day.
There is an issue the court will take up this afternoon related to the defense’s motion for a mistrial.
The defense claims that Sipes violated the agreement that he could only testify to evidence already entered into the record.
Because Sipes said "polygraph" during the defense’s cross-examination, the defense argued that this was in violation of what was agreed to by the court.
The state argues this was not brought up by prosecutors and that there was never a discussion of the results of Feit’s polygraph, thus no harm.
The judge is set to rule before testimony resumes tomorrow.