Suspect confesses to the murder of Bishop David O’Connell, LA prosecutor says

George Gascón Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón at a press conference Wednesday | CBS News/YouTube

Carlos Medina, the husband of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell’s housekeeper, has admitted to murdering the bishop, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in a press conference Wednesday.

“He admitted that he had done the killing and we believe we recovered the weapon that they were using, and we have other evidence from the bed, certain things that indicate that they were in the place where the killing occurred,” Gascón said in Spanish, translated here by CNA.

Additionally, Gascón revealed that O’Connell had sustained multiple gunshot wounds. In a press conference earlier this week, it was reported that when O’Connell was found he had sustained “at least” one gunshot wound to his upper body while in his bedroom, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Sheriff Robert Luna said. 

Gascón said that a deacon found O’Connell after he was shot, adding that “the way that the body was” appeared as if O’Connell might have died of natural causes. When paramedics arrived, it became clear that his death was the result of suspicious circumstances, he said.

Detectives also revealed that they believed that the suspect was not motivated by money. A tipster had reportedly told police that Medina had said O’Connell owed him money. 

O’Connell was murdered on Saturday in his Hacienda Heights home and authorities were on an around-the-clock manhunt in search of the killer. 

In detectives’ search for the killer, Luna said that Sunday evening they were tipped off about a person of interest in the city of Torrance, which is about a 45-minute drive southwest of Hacienda Heights.

Detectives identified the person of interest as Medina on Sunday evening after the tipster told them that Medina was exhibiting “strange” and “irrational” behavior and had “made comments about the bishop owing him money.” He was arrested on Monday morning and charged on Wednesday.

A reporter asked Gascón in the Wednesday press conference if O’Connell might have owed Medina money.

Lt. Michael Modica answered and said: “When [Medina] was interviewed, he spoke, he said several different reasons and none of them made any sense to the investigators. So, we don’t believe there’s any validity to the owing of money.”

A reporter asked Gascón if Medina had used his wife’s special access, like a key or lock code, to get into O’Connell’s residence. 

Gascón said that the evidence shows there was no forced entry, “so we’ll have to assume that there was a key or some other forms, and he had done some work in the house previously as well.”

If convicted, Medina faces 35 years to life in prison. 

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