Alleged gunman claims slain bishop owes him money – sheriff doesn’t believe him

Alleged gunman claims slain bishop owes him money – sheriff doesn’t believe him

Accused person A popular bishop in Southern California was fatally shot The dead priest said He owed moneyBut investigators on Wednesday rejected that claim.

Carlos Medina, 61, was formally charged Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said the death of Bishop David O’Connell, 69, is punishable by manslaughter and 35 years in prison.

Medina, the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper, told investigators he confronted Bishop about the money he owed her, authorities said.

But L.A. County Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Modica said Wednesday that investigators don’t believe that happened.

“When he was interviewed he spoke, he gave different reasons (for wanting to kill O’Connell),” Modica told reporters.

“And none of them made any sense to the investigators. So we don’t believe there’s any validity to the money owed (claims).”

Modica and Gascon left the brief meeting with reporters without answering any other questions about possible motives.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday afternoon if Medina had a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

Bishop was found shot multiple times in his LA suburb of Hacienda Heights on Saturday.

There was no forced entry, leading investigators to believe Medina had access to a key, having worked on O’Connell’s home in the past, Gascon said.

A deacon found the bishop’s body but thought he had died of natural causes, Gascon said.

“But the sheriff’s department responded very quickly and then the paramedics arrived, and it became clear that this was not a natural death, this was a crime,” said the prosecutor.

Medina was arrested Monday at his home in Torrance.

O’Connell was well known to Southern California Catholics and authorities for his work with the poor, immigrants and gang members.

“His loss is one that will be felt deeply for years to come,” said Gascon, a progressive DA who Survive a recall effort last year and faces re-election in 2024.

“This was a brutal act of violence against a man who dedicated a life to making our neighborhoods safe, healthy and always serving with life and compassion,” he said.

This article was originally published

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