Former Catholic Priest Charged in Murder-for-Hire Plot

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Monday, Nov 22, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 PM CDT
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According to the <a title=Texas Department of Public Safety, ex-priest, John Fiala, tried to hire an undercover officer in Garland, to commit murder." />

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, ex-priest, John Fiala, tried to hire an undercover officer in Garland, to commit murder.

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Solicitation of capital murder is the latest in a growing list of criminal charges filed against a former Catholic priest, who was living in Dallas at the time of his arrest.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, ex-priest, John Fiala, tried to hire an undercover officer in Garland, to commit murder.

Investigators say the intended target was a teenage boy in West Texas the former priest is accused of sexually assaulting.

"He dressed like a priest, not the collar, but he was very conservative and spent a lot of time reading the bible," said Fiala’s roommate, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The homeowner said he posted an ad on Craig's list looking for a roommate and Fiala moved in about 2 weeks ago.

Thursday morning, the roommate says, the Texas Rangers appeared at the front door of his townhome on Pandora Drive in Northeast Dallas. "One of them knocked on the door and said do you know this guy and I said yes he lives here but it’s really strange he's been gone 24 hours," the man said. He now knows that’s because Fiala was in the Dallas County Jail.

According to an arrest affidavit, Fiala offered to pay an undercover DPS officer $5,000 to kill the teenage boy who has accused him of raping him at gunpoint.

Investigators believe Fiala didn't want the teen to be able to testify against him in an upcoming criminal trial. "You’d never guess in a million years, ever in a million years," the roommate said.

Fiala was removed from the priesthood in 2008 when allegations of sexual abuse first surfaced. He was out on bond on several counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child when he was arrested here in Dallas County.

Fiala is said to have served in at least 15 different parishes in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas, before he was removed from the priesthood.

At last check he remained in the Dallas County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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