A Catholic Priest who has played a role in a Hampden murder investigation has taken a leave of absence.

The murder case in question involves Phillip Clark, who is accused of killing his sister-in-law, Renee Clark, in July. When her mother was unable to reach her from Florida, she had called police, who questioned Phillip Clark. He allegedly admitted to police that he had emptied his gun's clip into Renee, dunked her phone in water, and drove her car to the Airport Mall parking lot, where he left it. Renee's body was found in her apartment, wrapped in plastic. All this followed Renee's trip to the police station to complain that her estranged husband had violated a protection order.

A judge had determined that the contents of a journal, kept by Renee, might be admissible at trial. The journal has been in the custody of an attorney representing Father Anthony Cipolle, who's considered a witness in the trial. Father Cipolle's attorney says Renee's daughter has seen the journal, and that there may be information in it that could be embarrassing. According to WABI-TV, St. Paul the Apostle Parish announced this week that Father Cipolle is taking a leave of absence for personal reasons.

The priest's attorney says Father Cipolle suggested that Renee keep the journal, and so claims it should be considered privileged information. But the judge ordered that it be turned over to the court by the end of this week.