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Homeless Phoenix man pleads not guilty to shooting death of priest

Gary Michael Moran (MCSO Photo)

PHOENIX -- A homeless ex-convict has pleaded not guilty to charges of beating a Catholic priest with a metal rod and fatally shooting another clergyman during a burglary at a Phoenix church.

Gary Michael Moran was wheeled into court in a wheelchair Thursday for his arraignment on charges that he badly beat the Rev. Joseph Terra and fatally shot the Rev. Kenneth Walker in the June 11 attack at the Mother of Mercy Mission.

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

Authorities said Moran has acknowledged his involvement in the crime, though he initially he didn't remember what happened.

His next court appearance was scheduled for Sept. 2.

He was sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty in 2001 to misconduct involving weapons.

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