Catholic Priest Arrested in Connection with Murder for Hire Plot

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

A murder for hire plot with West Texas ties. A Catholic priest is accused of hiring an undercover cop to kill a boy he's accused of having sex with. It was all to keep that boy quiet. Police say 52-year-old John Fiala tried to hide the boy in Big Spring. Fiala is accused of sexual assault in several cases that stem from all over the state.

Authorities have been investigating since last year in Rocksprings, Tom Green and Howard County and now Dallas. The Edwards County Sheriff tells NewsWest 9, Fiala was a priest at the local church in Rock Springs where he got involved with a 16-year-old boy. That boy would visit Big Spring from time to time because he had a girlfriend there.

But the Sheriff says Fiala set the boy up with an apartment in Big Spring even enrolling him in school as a homeless person. When the family got suspicious, they went to the authorities. Faila denied everything.

The Diocese fired him and he left Rocksprings in 2009 but that didn't stop the investigation. Fiala was indicted last month for sexual assault to a child. Fiala was arrested and posted bond and went to Dallas. That's where we're told Fiala tried to hire someone to kill the boy. Problem was he tried to hire an undercover cop to do the job and ended up behind bars again.

The Edwards County Sheriff told NewsWest 9, he is happy to have Fiala back in jail. Even though only one boy has come forward, Edwards County investigators believe there may be more victims since Fiala had been a priest since the 80's.

Fiala has been indicted in Edwards County, Howard County, Dallas and Tom Green County. His total bond has been set at $800,000.

The boy who is now 18 has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Now it's up to the different DA's to get together and decide who will prosecute Fiala first. In Howard County, Fiala faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.