Police Statements from 1960 Murder Case Show Conflicting Details

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EDINBURG – Testimony continues in the Irene Garza murder trial.

On Monday, McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez took the stand. His department reopened the case in 2002.

Rodriguez read John Feit’s police statement to the jury, paragraph by paragraph.

The former priest had been assigned to Sacred Heart Church in McAllen to help with Holy Week services in 1960.

On May 3 of that year, Feit told police that on Holy Saturday, April 16, he was walking out of the rectory but went back inside to answer the phone. He said a young woman called asking to speak to someone and insisted it was important to talk to a priest, according to the document.

Rodriguez said Feit told police he waited for the woman to arrive at the rectory.

“The dots are connecting to him. That is, Irene Garza having been with him," said Rodriguez. "The parents knowing she had been with him, and now that she’s missing, these things are getting very hot for him. So, he’s not basically concerned about the fact that this is coming down on him."

The report states Feit claimed she wanted to meet privately in the rectory, not in confessional because she didn’t want others to hear her confession. It states after speaking with Garza, Feit sent her back to the church and assured her that no one would hear the confession.

The chief also read a second statement, dated June 14, 1960, which conflicts with the initial statement he gave police. In it, it states he took her to confession in the rectory that day.

Jurors are currently on lunch break and will be taken back to the courtroom to continue the trial. 

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