Catholic priest who has role as witness in murder case is on leave of absence

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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Catholic priest who's considered a witness in the trial of a Hampden man accused of killing his sister in law has taken a leave of absence.

That's according to church officials who say Father Anthony Cipolle is on leave for personal reasons.

A Penobscot County judge ruled late last week the contents of a journal kept by Renee Clark, who was murdered, might be okay to be used at trial.

Renee's journal has been in the custody of an attorney representing Father Cipolle.

Philip Clark is accused of killing Renee Clark.

His defense attorney says Renee Clark's daughter has seen the journal and told lawyers there may be information in it that could be embarrassing if released.

Cipolle's attorney claims the priest provided guidance for the murdered woman to keep the journal, so it should be considered privileged information.

The court ordered Cipolle to turn it over by the end of this week.

The judge will look at it to determine if any of it can be used at trial.