Ex-Priest, Indicted for Allegedly Murdering Beauty Queen After Hearing Her Confession In 1960, Waives Extradition

Priest Indicted For Allegedly Murdering Beauty Queen in 1960 Waives Extradition
John Feit
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office via AP

02/25/2016 AT 06:15 PM EST

An ex-priest who was indicted earlier this month for allegedly murdering a Texas beauty queen after hearing her confession more than fifty years ago has waived his right to extradition.

John Feit, 83, who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife and family, will be transported to Texas, where the murder took place, in the next 30 days, according to Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr.

"We have up to 30 days to transport this defendant to Texas," Rodriquez says in a statement. "We are currently making arrangements with Maricopa County to bring this defendant to Hidalgo County. We are one step closer to dispensing justice in this case."

On Feb. 10, Feit was indicted in Texas's Hidalgo Court for allegedly murdering Irene Garza, a 25-year-old teacher who was named Miss All South Texas Sweetheart 1958.

He faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Since Feit was arrested on Feb. 9 in Scottsdale, he has been held in Maricopa County jail on a $750,000 bond.

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According to authorities, Feit was the last person to see Garza alive after he heard her confession at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas, on April 16, 1960, the night before Easter.

She was found dead, face-down, in a canal five days later. An autopsy showed that Garza had been raped while she was unconscious and died from suffocation.

Authorities at the time questioned Feit after investigators found items belonging to the church, including a candelabra, near her body. They also found a Kodak slide photo viewer that authorities say belonged to him.

Feit allegedly told investigators that Garza left the rectory after he heard her confession and that the last time he saw her was when she was standing outside the church.

"This whole thing makes no sense to me, because the crime in question took place in 1960," Feit told the judge on Feb. 10.

Authorities questioned Feit again in 2003. A grand jury heard the case in 2004 but decided not to indict him.

According to the most recent indictment, the grand jury decided there was enough evidence to charge Feit now, stating that the ex-priest, in Hidalgo County, "did then and there, with malice aforethought cause the death of Irene Garza by asphyxiation in a manner and means unknown to the grand jury."

Information about Feit's attorney was not immediately available.
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