NOVEMBER 02, 2011
An illegal immigrant at the center of a Judicial Watch investigation has been convicted of murder in the drunk-driving accident that killed a Benedictine nun and critically injured two others in the Washington Metropolitan area last year.
Despite an extensive criminal history, the Bolivian man (Carlos Martinelly-Montano) had been released by federal immigration authorities on his own recognizance after being arrested. On the August 2010 night he killed the nun in Prince William County, Martinelly-Montano had a revoked license and was awaiting a deportation ruling. His car crossed a median and slammed head on into a vehicle carrying the three nuns.
Judicial Watched sued the Department of Homeland Security last December for records related to the agency’s investigation of the case. A federal court ordered the files released and JW made them public in March. The DHS report essentially details policies and actions of the Obama Administration and local governments that allowed Montano to remain on the streets despite being subject to deportation.
For instance the records show that as far back as 2007 Montano was convicted for driving under the influence (DIU) in Prince William County and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. However, a judge suspended the sentence and Montano walked because local police didn’t bother to determine his immigration status.
“Almost one year later, on October 4, 2008, Montano was booked into jail in Prince William County and charged with another misdemeanor DUI,” the DHS records obtained by JW say. “At the time of this arrest, the local authorities determined that Montano was an illegal alien. Thus, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) lodged an immigration detainer against him. As a result of the immigration detainer, immigration officers took him into custody. On October 7, 2008, Prince William County officials released him from custody.”
Instead of detaining Montano, “ICE agents determined that Montano was a candidate for the Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program,” which monitored his whereabouts using GPS technology. He was therefore released, the records reveal. While awaiting his deportation hearing, “Montano was charged on March 5, 2009, in Fairfax County, Virginia, with misdemeanor failure to appear related to driving without a license.”
Local officials dismissed this charge against Montano on May 5, 2009 and county officials did not contact ICE. On April 27, 2010, a Manassas Park Police officer cited Montano for misdemeanor reckless driving. There is no record indicating that Montano was booked or fingerprinted or that Manassas Park officials contacted ICE. On June 1, 2010, Montano was convicted for reckless driving and fined $500. Again, ICE was not contacted following the citation or conviction.
On April 27, 2009, as a result of the October 2008 DUI arrest, the Circuit Court of Prince William County convicted Montano and sentenced him to serve 12 months and 3 days in jail. However, the judge in Prince William County suspended 11 months and 13 days of Montano’s sentence. As a result of the judge’s decision, Montano served less than two weeks in Prince William County for his second DUI conviction, the DHS records show.
Here is one of the final entries in the DHS files obtained by JW: “On May 7, 2009, after Montano served the portion of his sentence that had not been suspended, ICE took him into custody. Based on Montano’s compliance during his prior participation in the ATD program, ICE officers released Montano on the prior order of supervision (dating back to 2008) with the condition that he report to ICE on a regular basis.”
Instead he got behind the wheel intoxicated, murdered an innocent woman and critically injured two others. Montano is scheduled to be sentenced in February and faces a maximum of 70 years in prison. His taxpayer-funded defense attorney has indicated that she plans to file an appeal.
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