I-Team: Suspect named in murder of disgraced priest

Local News

HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — A suspect has been named in connection with the murder of a disgraced priest killed in his Henderson home nearly three months ago.  An arrest warrant has been issued for 25-year-old Derrick Decoste.

The charges he faces are as followed:

  • Murder with a deadly weapon
  • Robbery with a deadly weapon 

Decoste is in custody in Oakland County, Michigan on unrelated charges, including impersonating a police officer and fraud, pending extradition.

On March 9, Henderson Police did a welfare check at 70-year-old John Capparelli’s home in the Anthem neighborhood on Bonner Springs near Eastern Avenue.  According to the Clark County Coroner’s office, Capparelli had a gunshot wound to the neck.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Capparelli was at the center of claims of sexual abuse.  He had been a priest in New Jersey and was suspended from ministry in 1992.  According to a New Jersey publication, there were over two dozen lawsuits of sexual accusations against Caparelli.  

He taught math in Newark Schools before surrendering his teaching license and moving to Nevada.  He was never criminally charged with the alleged crimes.

After Henderson Police found Capparelli’s body, neighbors told 8 News Now he frequently had young boys visit home, and they thought he was tutoring them.

Court records show Decoste was in custody in Las Vegas a few days after Capparelli was murdered. He was picked up by a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force on a warrant out of Michigan on March 12th. He was later extradited to Michigan on March 27th.

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