WOODBRIDGE, Va. (CBS/WUSA/AP) An illegal immigrant facing possible deportation killed one nun and critically injured two others in a drunken driving accident in a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., say police.
Twenty-three-year-old Carlos Martinelly Montano is charged with drunken driving, involuntary manslaughter and felony driving on a revoked license after his car crossed a median Sunday morning and struck a car carrying three nuns, police say.
Sister Denise Mosier, 66, was pronounced dead at the scene; Sister Charlotte Lange and Sister Connie Ruth Lupton remain hospitalized and on respirators.
Montano's arrest in the case has provoked angry words over the government's handling of illegal immigration.The young man originally from Bolivia has been arrested twice before and charged with drunk driving, and has other arrests for other traffic-related offenses, say police.
As a result of at least one of these offenses, Montano was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was expected to be deported; however, the Department of Homeland Security released Montano in 2008 pending a review of his case.
Corey Stewart, chairman of Prince William County's Board of Supervisors, is wondering why Montano had not been deported and why he was still able to drive.
"We handed him over to the feds assuming he would be deported, but instead federal authorities released him back into the neighborhood and he killed a nun," Stewart said. "We feel like we are beating our heads against the wall."
Stewart told CBS affiliate WUSA, "Blood is on the hands of Congress for not properly funding immigration enforcement," said Stewart."
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, who lost a member of their community and are praying for the recovery of two others injured in the crash.
"The Benedictine Sisters are dismayed and saddened that this tragedy has been politicized and become an apparent forum for the illegal immigration agenda," Smith said. "It is not optional for us to choose mercy and forgiveness. We know this young man will be brought to justice that's appropriate, and we hope he will learn to make better choices."