Jury in priest murder trial released until Wednesday morning

Jurors in the Jose Feliciano murder trial in Morristown were sent home today after just five minutes of deliberations.

The Morris County Prosecutor's Office says that the jury has been excused until 11 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Judge Thomas Manahan spent most of the day giving legal instructions. However, once they began deliberating, jurors requested a copy of the judge's instructions. Feliciano is charged with stabbing Father Ed Hinds to death two years ago in Chatham.

Jose Feliciano doesn't deny stabbing Rev. Edward Hinds todeath in the rectory of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church inChatham in 2009.

But the Easton, Pa., resident's lawyer told jurors duringclosing arguments yesterday that Feliciano was being sexuallyblackmailed by Hinds and killed in a fit of rage.

The prosecution says the janitor "slaughtered" the priestafter Hinds fired him because the priest had discovered Felicianohad an outstanding arrest warrant in Philadelphia from the 1980sfor sexually touching a child.

Feliciano testified during the trial.

Several witnesses testified Feliciano never mentioned thealleged sexual relationship.

The Associated Press wire service contributed to this report.Closing arguments heard in Chatham priest murder trialSuspect in priest's murder admits lying to investigators

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