Homeless man denies Arizona priest killing

Gary Michael Moran was seen in a Phoenix, Arizona, courtroom on 17 July 2014 Gary Michael Moran was previously convicted of burglaries and weapons charges

Related Stories

A homeless man charged with killing a priest in an attack on a Roman Catholic church has pleaded not guilty.

Gary Michael Moran is accused of fatally shooting the Reverend Kenneth Walker, 28, and severely beating the Reverend Rev Joseph Terra, 56.

The attack occurred on 11 June at the Mother of Mercy Mission in Phoenix.

Moran was previously sentenced to more than four years in prison for misconduct involving weapons, and was also convicted in two 1989 burglaries.

He appeared in a wheelchair at the plea hearing in a Phoenix court on Thursday.

Police have claimed Moran bragged about beating and robbing a priest, and an unidentified woman told authorities the suspect gave her a bag containing a camera which belonged to one of the victims.

A police flyer of Reverend Kenneth Walker Reverend Kenneth Walker was killed in the attack

Father Terra, who administered last rites to Father Walker, called authorities to report a burglary at the Mother of Mercy Mission on 11 June.

Police later said Father Terra was so badly beaten it was feared he would not survive, but he was later transferred out of a hospital intensive care unit and is expected to make a full recovery.

A car belonging to Father Walker was later found abandoned several blocks from the church after the crime.

Authorities said they were able to recover forensic evidence from the automobile.

Moran was arrested four days after the attack, and authorities say his DNA is a match for samples collected at the crime scene.

He is next scheduled to appear in court on 2 September.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Need for speed

    Audi unveils its fastest production car ever - ahead of its Geneva debut


  • A bicycle with a Copenhagen WheelClick Watch

    The wheel giving push bikes an extra boost by turning them into smart electric hybrids

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.