Bishop David O'Connell murder: Housekeeper’s husband arrested in LA over killing

Suspect Carlos Medina is married to the housekeeper of the late Bishop
Bishop David O'Connell murder: Housekeeper’s husband arrested in LA over killing

Olivia Kelleher

The suspect in custody for the murder of Irish-born Bishop David O’Connell in Los Angeles is the husband of his housekeeper, police have said.

LA Times courts and crime reporter James Queally told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that a man named Carlos Medina is in custody in relation to the killing.

Mr Queally said the police searched Mr Medina's home in Torrance, California just outside Los Angeles overnight on Monday.

"[The police] seized two weapons from his home which they are currently performing ballistic tests on to determine if those were the weapons used in the killing."

Mr Queally said although Mr Medina is married to the housekeeper of the late Bishop, very little is known of his relationship with the 69-year-old murder victim.

"We don't know what [Mr Medina's] relationship was to him outside of the work of his wife. There was a tip called in to the sheriff's department over the weekend that [Mr Medina] had been acting strangely at his home.

"There are some court records from Mr Medina that show a prior arrest for a DUI but we are not seeing much in the way of a criminal record – at least based on what we can find."

Mr Queally said a possible decision by the sheriff's department to hold certain details back from the public domain was not atypical.

"That is not abnormal at this time of an investigation. I don't have much more than what the Sheriff has released publicly. We had mentioned in our reporting earlier that the Bishop was found shot in his bedroom, specifically in his bed. Myself or my colleague were told this by a law informant source. If [the police] know more about the motive than they are telling that is possible."

He added that Bishop O'Connell was heavily involved in ministering to migrant children.

"To children that have come to the country in the last four to five years. Outreach and helping them find housing, helping them find food. [Bishop O'Connell] called it a 'labour of love' in a 2019 interview with the paper."

Bishop O'Connell was also well known for trying to help repair relations between police and many of the South LA communities following the savage beating of African-American Rodney King by LAPD officers in 1991.

Mr Queally said fellow priest Jarlath Cunnane had told the paper that when he became sick in 2020 with a blood infection his good friend Bishop O'Connell had "given him time almost every day."

"Jarlath said they were friends for more than 50 years. They got close studying in university. They were both very passionate about literature. Cunnane had been sick, and Bishop O'Connell had visited him even when he [Cunnane] was on an oxygen machine and struggling to converse. I believe they had met for dinner within the last week and still maintained a close bond to this day."

Mr Cunnane, who is the pastor at St Cornelius Catholic Church in Long Beach, met Bishop O'Connell more than five decades ago at All Hallows College in Dublin, where they both studied for the priesthood.

Meanwhile, tributes have continued to pour in to Bishop O'Connell. LA County Sheriff's Department said that he was "a guiding light for so many, and his legacy will continue to live on."

"We are working diligently to seek those responsible for his death."

The Los Angeles Archbishop, Jose H Gomez, has also offered prayers for relatives of Bishop O'Connell.

"Bishop Dave was a man of deep prayer who had a great love for Our Blessed Mother. He was a peace maker with a heart for the poor and the immigrant, and he had a passion for building a community where the sanctity and dignity of every human life was honoured and protected."

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