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Criminal Justice

Man Accused In Shooting Death of LA Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell Is Charged With Murder

A white man in an elaborate gold and white Catholic religious robe stands looking toward lit candles on a table, next to a wooden cross. People wearing face masks stand near chairs in the background.
Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell photographed in 2020 at Saint Cornelius Catholic Church in Long Beach. O'Connell was fatally shot at his home in Hacienda Heights on Saturday.
(Apu Gomes
AFP via Getty Images)
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The man accused of fatally shooting Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell over the weekend has been charged with murder, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

At a press conference to announce the charge against Carlos Medina, 65, of Torrance, L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said investigators had not yet determined a motive in the killing. Medina, whose wife was O’Connell’s housekeeper, was arrested Monday morning.

If convicted, Medina faces up to 35 years to life in prison, Gascón said.

Medina had previously done work at the bishop’s home, L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna said Monday. Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Modica said at Wednesday’s press conference that when Medina was interviewed by investigators, his reasons for the killing “didn’t make sense” to them.

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Modica added that a previous tip that O’Connell owed Medina money isn’t believed to be valid. Medina’s truck had previously been tied to the location of the killing through surveillance footage. Two guns were found at Medina’s home.

O’Connell was killed on Saturday, found dead in his bedroom by a deacon in the bishop’s church-owned Hacienda Heights home, according to authorities. He had multiple gunshot wounds, but the cause of death was initially unclear due to the position the body was found in, Gascón said.

Before he was killed, O'Connell was one of five auxiliary bishops for the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Named by Pope Francis to that role in 2015, O'Connell and other auxiliary bishops assist Archbishop José Gómez in running the massive archdiocese.

L.A.'s archdiocese is made up of more than 280 parishes and served some 4.3 million Catholics.

Gascón praised O'Connell's work in the L.A. community.

“Father O'Connell is someone who dedicated his life not only to the church, but to the whole community. A man who was born in Ireland, but spoke perfect Spanish. He spent years helping immigrant communities to help young people displaced from war and violence,” Gascón said in Spanish.

Wednesday is also the first day of the Christian church season of Lent, Gascón noted.

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