Catholic Priest Killed in Rectory Break-in at His Nebraska Church – Crime Online

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A Roman Catholic priest in Nebraska was stabbed to death early Sunday morning by an Iowa man who broke into the rectory of his church.

Father Stephen Gutgsell called 911 to report the break-in at about 5 a.m., The Associated Press said.

Gutgsell was taken from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fort Calhoun to Nebraska medicine in Omaha, where he died of his injuries, KTIV reported.

Police said they found Kierre L. Williams, 43, at the rectory when they arrived, and charged him with homicide and use of a weapon to commit a felony.

The Archdiocese of Omaha said in a statement that the church would be closed for the time being.

“Please join Archbishop George Lucas in prayer for the repose of Father Gutgsell, for his family, and for the St. John the Baptist parish community in this tragic time,” the archdiocese said.

Gutgsell was an associate pastor with the archdiocese, splitting his time between the Fort Calhoun parish and St. Francis Borgia in Blair.

The priest pleaded guilty in 2007 to embezzling $127,000 from an area church. He was sentenced to probation, ordered to pay restitution, and assigned to a different church. Earlier this year, Gutgsell’s brother, also a priest, also pleaded guilty to theft charges.

Police said they don’t believe their is a connection between the embezzlement and the break-in at the rectory.

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[Featured image: Stephen Gutgsell/St. John the Baptist Catholic Church]



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