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Court appearance delayed for man accused of fatally shooting Phoenix priest

A court hearing has been canceled for a homeless ex-convict who police say beat a priest with a metal rod and fatally shot another clergyman in their Phoenix church.

Gary Michael Moran is held on $1 million bond. He is charged with first-degree murder, burglary and armed robbery, among other charges. He has not yet entered a plea and was set for court Monday morning. The appearance was canceled for unspecified reasons. He is due back in court Thursday.

Authorities say Moran attacked the Rev. Joseph Terra, 56, with a metal rod at the Mother of Mercy Mission on June 11. Police say he then fatally shot the Rev. Kenneth Walker, 28, with Terra's gun. Terra was able to give Walker last rites after the assault.

Moran was arrested June 15 after police say his DNA matched forensic evidence collected from the scene. The 54-year-old was released from prison in April after serving about eight years on charges that included aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, court records show.

Walker was born in upstate New York, had 10 siblings and was drawn to the priesthood after attending traditional Latin Mass with his family in high school. He later joined the seminary, made good grades and enjoyed playing soccer, said the Rev. Joseph Lee, academic dean at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Nebraska.

Walker eventually joined a Catholic order that specializes in Latin Mass and became a priest in downtown Phoenix. He recently officiated a younger sibling's wedding in Kansas — the last time he saw many relatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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