Former Priest From Scottsdale Sentenced To Life In Prison For 1960 Murder

By Stina Sieg
Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 8:28pm
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 - 6:58am
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A former priest from Scottsdale has been sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a woman nearly 60 years ago.

A Texas jury deliberated for just over four hours Friday before handing John Bernard Feit the maximum sentence.

Feit, who’s now 85 and using a walker, was found guilty of the 1960 killing of Irene Garza. Feit was a young visiting priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas, when he became the only suspect in the death of the school teacher and former beauty queen.

Feit said he had heard her confession but denied killing her.

As suspicions mounted against him, Feit was moved by the Catholic Church — first to a small town in Missouri, then to a home for troubled priests in New Mexico.

He was extradited to Texas from Arizona last year. Among the witnesses against him included a former monk who said Feit had confessed to him that he’d gotten away with murder.

Associated Press contributed to this report.