AP Radio AP Radio News:

Dec 7, 2:19 PM EST

Case of ex-priest accused in 1960 death goes to jury

EDINBURG, Texas (AP) -- The murder trial of a former priest accused of killing a woman in South Texas in 1960 has been sent to the jury.

Closing arguments were given Thursday morning in the case of 85-year-old John Feit, accused of suffocating Irene Garza after she went to confession at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen.

An autopsy determined that 25-year-old Garza -a teacher and former beauty queen - was beaten, raped while unconscious and asphyxiated.

Prosecution witnesses have testified that the sheriff and district attorney of that time, along with church officials, conspired to keep Feit from having to face justice for the killing. Testimony included that of a former monk who testified that Feit confessed to him three years after the killing.

Feit's attorney contends evidence is insufficient to convict.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.