Trial for Immigrant Accused of Killing Nun in DUI Crash

Suspect was in deportation proceedings at time of crash

An illegal immigrant accused of killing a 66-year-old nun in a drunken driving accident was found guilty of felony murder.

Before the trial began, Carlos Martinelly-Montano pleaded guilty to lesser charges, including involuntary manslaughter and maiming while driving drunk.  In court Monday, he pleaded not guilty to felony murder and requested a bench trial.

Often in fatal drunken driving cases, prosecutors pursue manslaughter charges. However, in this case, the prosecution pursued felony murder because this was Martinelly-Montano's third DUI arrest.

Denise Mosier, a 66-year-old nun, was killed in August 2010 when an intoxicated Martinelly-Montano crossed the center line and hit the car Mosier was riding in head-on, police said.

The three nuns in the car were headed to a retreat at the Saint Benedict Monastery in Bristow, about five miles away from the scene of the crash on Bristow Road near Wright Lane.

The other nuns in the vehicle, Sisters Connie Ruth Lupton and Charlotte Lange, were seriously injured in the crash.

Martinelly-Montano has twice before been convicted of drunken driving, and was awaiting a deportation hearing at the time of the accident. 

The accident prompted Prince William County officials to sue the federal government this year to explain why Martinelly-Montano was not in detention for his prior crimes and immigration status.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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