Man accused of killing Chatham priest takes stand

Jose Feliciano, the church janitor charged with stabbing a Chatham priest to death in 2009, took the stand in his own defense today, telling jurors what drove him into a homicidal rage.

Feliciano was questioned by his defense attorney, saying that Father Edward Hinds had coerced him into an intimate relationship after learning Feliciano had sexually abused a girl in Pennsylvania. The custodian also testified that he never told anyone about the affair.

The defense is expected to finish questioning Feliciano tomorrow morning and the prosecution will then question him. Authorities close to the case say there was no affair between the custodian and priest, stating that Feliciano killed Father Hinds because he was about to be fired.

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