Cops say he killed NJ priest accused of sex abuse
LAS VEGAS — Authorities say a 25-year-old man being held in a Michigan jail is the suspect in the killing in Nevada of a defrocked Catholic priest who faced what the church called credible accusations of sexual abuse in New Jersey.
Court documents say Derrick Mitchell Decoste met and exchanged messages with 70-year-old John Capparelli for several weeks after answering an internet ad for male wrestlers — a fetish that Capparelli was known to have.
Police say Decoste owned the gun used to shoot Capparelli dead in his Henderson home.
A police report suggests robbery was the motive for the killing.
It says Dacoste's girlfriend turned over to police a bag containing items belonging to Capparelli, including a distinctive Newark Teachers Union wristwatch.
Capparelli was named in February among 180 priests listed by five New Jersey dioceses as alleged sex abusers.
Capparelli had been assigned to at least five parishes and posts, including Our Lady of Fatima in North Bergen, Oratory Prep in Summit, Holy Trinity in Westfield, St. Theresa in Kenilworth and Temporary Chaplain Valley Hospital in Ridgewood.
He was linked to multiple victims between the time of his ordination in 1980 and when he was permanently removed from ministry in 1992. He then became a public school teacher in Newark until he was kicked out of the profession in 2013 after two victims came forward to testify against him.