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Police Have Suspect in Murder of Defrocked Valley Chaplain

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Henderson Nevada Police, have identified a 25-year-old man wanted in the murder of a priest who once worked as a temporary chaplain at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, then was later “credibly accused” of sex abuse.

Henderson authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of Derrick Mitchell Decoste in connection with the murder of John Capparelli, 70, Henderson police said.they had found Capparelli shot dead at his Nevada home on March 9. Detectives issued the arrest warrant for Decoste on the charges of murder with a deadly weapon and robbery with a deadly weapon, Officer Rod Peña, a spokesperson for the Henderson police said in an email.

“Decoste is current in custody in Oakland County, Michigan jail for unrelated charges, pending extradition for our charges,” Peña told TAPinto Westfield.

Inmate records from the jail in Michigan show officers arrested Decoste March 27 on retail fraud theft charges.

Capparelli, who served at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Westfield, had been named in lists of 188 New Jersey priests “credibly accused” of sex abuse. The list from the Roman Catholic Church included seven priests who had through the years worked at two churches in Westfield.

Ordained in 1980, Capparelli also served at Our Lady of Fatima in North Bergen, Oratory Prep in Summit, St. Theresa in Kenilworth and as a temporary chaplain at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood throughout his career, according to the Archdiocese of Newark.

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