Both Sides Rest in Trial of Former Priest Accused of Murder
By Lorenzo Zazueta-Castro
December 7, 2017
Both sides in the trial of former Priest John Feit rested Wednesday, bringing an unexpectedly short ending to the proceedings.
Feit, who is accused of murder in the 1960 death of 25-year-old Irene Garza, considered testifying in his own defense but told the court outside the jury’s presence that he decided against it on the advice of his attorneys.
“It’s a wrestling match between my vanity and common sense,” he said.
After five days of testimony, the state rested shortly after the court returned from recess at 1:30 p.m. The prosecution had been expected to spend up to two weeks presenting its case.
For its part, the defense rested after one witness, investigator Rudy Jaramillo, a member of the Texas Rangers cold case unit assigned to the Garza slaying in 2002. Jaramillo had been called earlier as a prosecution witness and detailed how his unit reviewed the cold case.
Also Thursday, Hidalgo County forensic pathologist Norma Jean Farley testified that, based on files and medical records she reviewed, Garza died of asphyxiation, most likely from being suffocated. The defense had no questions.
Outside the presence of the jury, the defense argued in favor of dismissing the case, claiming there’s a lack of evidence. But the prosecution contended there is evidence of a body being moved, proving malice and forethought. Judge Luis Singleterry ruled against the motion to dismiss.
Jurors are expected to return to 92nd state District Court at 9:30 a.m. today for closing arguments by the defense and prosecution.