Police: Florida Priest Killed By Man He Was Trying To Help

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Casey Harper Contributor
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Police say a 71-year-old Florida priest was killed by a man he was trying to help, and now that man has been charged with murder.

Georgia authorities filed murder charges against Steven James Murray, 28, in connection with the death of a missing priest, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told the Associated Press Thursday. Police arrested Murray after they found him in the priest’s vehicle and say Murray himself led authorities to the body.

“I have mental problems, and I lost control of myself and I apologize,” Murray told a reporter.

Police found the body of Rev. Rene Wayne Robert in east Georgia late Monday night. Robert, who served the Diocese of St. Augustine, regularly helped criminals fresh out of prison. Authorities believe he was helping Murray through his prison ministry when Murray kidnapped and murdered him.

“He did prison ministry, and unfortunately in this case it seems to have come back against him,” Rev. John Gillespie, another priest at the Diocese, told ABC News.

Robert was shot multiple times, and authorities used dental records to confirm the body was his. Murray is charged with receiving stolen goods, less than $10,000 and possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon.

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