Carlos Martinelly-Montano (photo), the drunk-driving Bolivian national who killed a Benedictine nun in Virginia in August, 2010, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The case became a national scandal after the public learned that Martinelly-Montano was a twice-convicted drunk driver and that federal authorities had twice delayed his deportation hearing. Although authorities had apprehended the Bolivian, they released him because they did not believe he was a flight risk.
Such was the concern about the case that Prince William County, Virginia, sued the federal government to find out what it knew about Martinelly-Montano and when, and why he was released.
Observers have noted that if ever there were a case that deserved public airing about the federal government’s adamant refusal to enforce immigration law, this one is it.
On August 10, 2010, a drunk Martinelly-Montano, driving a 1997 Subaru Outback in Bristow in Prince William County, “swerved off the road, hit a guardrail on the right then crossed into the northbound lane, where [his vehicle] struck a jersey wall and slammed head on into a northbound 2003 Toyota Corolla,” InsideNova reported at the time.
Driving the Toyota was Sister Charlotte Lange, who was traveling with two other nuns — Connie Lupton and Jeanette (known as Sister Denise) Mosier — to a religious retreat. Mosier was killed at the scene. Lange’s “once-curly hair turned straight” and she suffered brain damage and memory and hearing loss, the Washington Post reported. Lupton was also severely injured.
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Photo: Carlos Martinelly-Montano