Bond Not Discussed for Former Priest

By Lorenzo Zazueta-castro
Brownsville Herald
September 2, 2016

More than 20,000 pieces of evidence and documents have been made available in the trial of a former priest accused of killing a McAllen beauty queen and schoolteacher.

That was the extent of revelations in a status hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes, in the case of John Bernard Feit, who faces life in prison in connection with the death of Irene Garza.

Feit, as has been his demeanor during his past two court appearances, was all smiles and joked with deputies and attorneys inside the 92nd District courtroom prior to Judge Luis Singleterry taking the bench.

Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Michael Garza, a few months removed from a walkthrough of two of the alleged crime scenes, addressed the court briefly about the status of the case.

Feit is accused in the April 1960 death of Garza, who was last seen going to confession at McAllen’s SacredHeartChurch. Her body was found five days later after being dumped in a canal.

Garza said the state is in the discovery phase.

“I think we’ve tendered close to 20,000 different documents to defense counsel, which he’s been reviewing. We’ve also had an opportunity to review some of the physical evidence, and that process is continuing,” Garza said. “At this point, I don’t see the need for any court intervention.”

Not discussed during the lightning-quick hearing was Feit’s bond, something proposed during Feit’s initial hearings and most recently at the June hearing.

Feit’s attorney, O. Rene Flores, who followed Feit back to the basement of the courthouse for a quick discussion before addressing the media, said his team, which includes co-counsel Ricardo Flores, is more concerned with other issues.

“We’re not immediately concerned with bond at this point. We have plenty of other things involved in the case that we’re directing our attention to,” Flores said. “As far as him being in custody and so forth, I’m not immediately concerned with that right now.”

The 83-year-old, who requires 24-hour medical care at the county jail, suffers from Stage 3 kidney disease, bladder cancer, spinal stenosis and chronic diabetes, according to his attorney.

Feit is scheduled back in court Oct. 27.








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