Man accused of murdering 1 priest, beating another pleads not guilty


by and The Associated Press

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 6:44 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 21 at 9:40 AM

PHOENIX – The homeless ex-convict accused of murdering one Phoenix priest and brutally beating a second has pleaded not guilty.

Gary Michael Moran, 54, was wheeled into court in a wheelchair Thursday for his arraignment on charges including first-degree murder, burglary and armed robbery.

Moran's comments during the hearing consisted of stating his name and age.

A grand jury indictment released late last month charged Moran in connection with the June 11 attack at the Mother of Mercy Mission.

Moran is accused of badly beating the Rev. Joseph Terra and fatally shooting the Rev. Kenneth Walker before he fled in Walker's car.

Moran was arrested four days later.

Police Chief Daniel Garcia called the attack "a violent, tragic, horrifying offense" committed by a career criminal who had been out of prison only six weeks. Moran had served about eight years on charges that included aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Authorities say Moran acknowledged his involvement in the crime.

He is being held on $1 million bond. His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 2.

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