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MCAO News Releases

Posted on: February 24, 2017

Gary Moran Pled Guilty to 1st Degree Murder of Valley Priest

PHOENIX— Today Gary Moran (D.O.B. 08/12/1959) pled guilty to 1st Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault and Burglary in the death of a priest and severe attack of another priest at a Phoenix mission during a burglary.

“The defendant took the life of a devoted faith community leader, Father Kenneth Walker, and seriously injured another community servant, Father Joseph Terra. This plea ensures Moran will spend the rest of his natural life in prison and will not harm anyone in our community again,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. Montgomery added, “Since the murder of Father Walker and the assault on Father Terra, the Maricopa County’s Office has developed policies to address criminals like Moran who demonstrate a history of violence at any point during their criminal career in an effort to safeguard the community as much as possible.”

On June 11, 2014 Moran entered the Mother of Mary Mission in Phoenix and attacked Father Joseph Terra. Moran hit him several times with an angle iron inflicting severe injuries and causing him to lose consciousness multiple times. At one point Father Terra attempted to get a gun from another room, however Moran wrestled the gun away from Father Terra. A second priest, Father Kenneth Walker, was also thereafter beaten and then shot and killed by Moran. Moran stole property from both victims before leaving the mission in a vehicle belonging to one of the priests.

On June 11, 2014 Moran entered the Mother of Mary Mission in Phoenix and attacked Father Joseph Terra. Moran hit him several times with an angle iron inflicting severe injuries and causing him to lose consciousness multiple times. At one point Father Terra attempted to get a gun from another room, however Moran wrestled the gun away from Father Terra. A second priest, Father Kenneth Walker, was also thereafter beaten and then shot and killed by Moran. Moran stole property from both victims before leaving the mission in a vehicle belonging to one of the priests.

Sentencing in this case is set for April 7, 2017.

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