Jury Process Begins in Ex-Priest’s Cold-Case Murder Trial

Courthouse News Service

November 15, 2017

By Erik De La Garza

[Note: See also 57 Years After Young Teacher’s Murder, Former Priest Faces Trial, by Erik De La Garza]

Edinburg TX – Hundreds of potential jurors streamed through a South Texas courthouse auditorium Tuesday for the trial of a former Catholic priest charged with the 1960 murder of a local beauty queen, his former parishioner.

It’s been a long, slow road to trial for 84-year-old John Feit, whose cold-case murder trial has been delayed at least twice this year.

Feit emerged as the prime suspect in the Easter weekend rape and murder of McAllen schoolteacher Irene Garza in 1960, but was not charged until 56 years later, when a new district attorney launched a fresh investigation.

Feit’s attorneys on Monday asked Hidalgo County Judge Luis Singleterry to exclude Garza’s autopsy from trial because the two medical examiners who conducted it are not among the two dozen witnesses state prosecutors will call to testify.

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