Trial Underway for Ex-Priest Accused of Murdering South Texas Woman in 1960

John Feit Murder
Breitbart Texas / Ildefonso Ortiz

Opening arguments and witness testimony began in the murder trial for former Catholic Priest John Feit. The priest is accused of killing a McAllen, Texas, school teacher in 1960.

After multiple days of jury selection at the 92nd State District Court in Edinburg, prosecutors and defense attorneys squared off to begin the trial.

Feit was a Catholic priest in McAllen who is believed to have assaulted and murdered Irene Garza after the women went to confession in 1960. Authorities did not charge at the time and the Catholic Church transferred him. Years later, Feit left the church and moved to Arizona where he was arrested in 2017 after a new district attorney took up the case.

In an effort to avoid disruptions, State District Judge Luis Singleterry prohibited live-streaming of proceedings and had news outlets pool camera and photographs. Various local news outlets sent reporters to the trial to live tweet the case.

Prosecutors presented an image of a man for whom being a member of the cloth helped him avoid facing consequences for various attempted sexual assaults and, ultimately, Garza’s murder. One of the witnesses, Darrel Davis, a local attorney who at the time of the murder was a TV reporter, testified that he was told by the district attorney that a deal was made with Feit.

Jury testimony is expected to continue into mid-December.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.  You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at


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