Jonathan Smith drove from Columbus, Ohio, to New York City with a burden on his conscience so heavy that he unloaded on the first Catholic priest he saw: “Someone is dead, and I feel really bad about it.”

According to the New York Post, the priest in the midtown Manhattan Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assis quickly called the police, who then took a formal confession from Smith: "I killed my girlfriend in Columbus, Ohio."

WSNY radio reported on July 23 that murder charges were filed against Smith in connection with death of his girlfriend, Darlene Hart, whose beaten body was found in the burning home they shared on July 14.

The priest who heard the initial confession clarified to the New York Post that Smith was not giving formal religious confession, which would have prohibited the priest from sharing any information.

Instead, the priest explained, Jonathan Smith was telling the priest with a desire to turn himself in.