Feit Found Guilty
By Molly Smith
December 7, 2017
Emotions run high as jury convicts ex-priest in 1960 murder of Irene Garza
EDINBURG — Six hours of deliberation ended 57 years of speculation Thursday night when a jury found ex-priest John Feit guilty of the April 1960 murder of schoolteacher Irene Garza.
Feit showed no emotion as the verdict was read, appearing almost defiant as he learned of his conviction for murder with malice aforethought, or premeditation. The 85-year-old defendant also didn’t offer anything in the form of remarks while being led out of the courtroom, as defense attorney O. Rene Flores said Feit wouldn’t speak to the media.
In contrast, members of Garza’s family, who were present in the courtroom when the verdict was read, were visibly emotional and embraced each other following news of Feit’s fate, which ends a nearly six-decade wait for justice in the death of the 25-year-old.
Also on hand was McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez, who has worked on the case since 2002 and long believed there was sufficient probable cause to charge Feit with the murder.
Rodriguez was also among the many who testified in a trial chock-full of compelling testimony — this including accounts from women who detailed encounters with Feit in 1960 that included the then-priest asking to take photos of one at a cemetery and warning another that she was “next, honey.”