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BREAKING: Housekeeper’s husband arrested in murder case of Bishop David O’Connell

Joe Bukuras By Joe Bukuras for CNA

Bishop David G. O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, explains his call to the priesthood on EWTN’s “The Call,” which aired on Oct. 3, 2019. / EWTN

Boston, Mass., Feb 20, 2023 / 18:53 pm (CNA).

A suspect has been arrested and now publicly identified in the murder case of Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, who was shot and killed in his home on Saturday.

In a press conference Monday, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Sheriff Robert Luna announced that charges would be brought against a Hispanic male, 65-year-old Carlos Medina, the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper.

It is currently unclear if the housekeeper is employed by O’Connell directly or by the archdiocese, Luna said. He added that Medina has “previously done work at the bishop’s residence.”

CNA asked the archdiocese if Medina or his wife had been employed by the archdiocese but did not immediately receive a response prior to publication.

Luna said he had no information about a motive at the time of the press conference.

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 from Hacienda Heights, where O’Connell was found dead.

Detectives had 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.”

Police had also discovered video evidence of a “dark-colored, compact SUV” that had pulled into the bishop’s driveway, stayed for a short time, and then left, the sheriff said.

Medina drove a similar type of vehicle, Luna said.

On Monday morning at about 2 a.m. local time, sheriff’s deputies arrived at Medina’s home after being tipped off that he arrived at his residence.

With a warrant in hand for his arrest, sheriff’s deputies called for Medina to surrender, but he refused to come out of his residence.

The sheriff department’s Special Enforcement Bureau personnel arrived at the scene with an amended warrant to search Medina’s home and arrest him. Medina exited his home and surrendered to authorities at about 8:15 a.m. local time, “without further incident,” Luna said.

Neither Medina nor his wife had worked at the bishop’s residence the day of the murder, Luna said. Medina’s wife is being interviewed by detectives and she has been fully cooperative, according to the sheriff.

When deputies and paramedics arrived at O’Connell’s residence at the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue, Hacienda Heights, on Feb. 18, they discovered him with “at least” one gunshot wound to his upper body while in his bedroom, Luna said.

Luna said there was no evidence of a “forced entry” or “burglary” and added that no firearm was found at the scene.

Two firearms “and other evidence” possibly incriminating Medina were found at his residence in Torrance during his arrest at approximately 8:15 on Monday morning, the sheriff said.

Those firearms will be examined and tested in a crime lab to determine if they were used in the murder.

Luna said that he believed it was a deacon who called police after discovering that O’Connell had been shot. He had gone to check on the bishop when he had failed to show up for a scheduled meeting.

Several local officials and politicians spoke at the press conference, including Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez, who broke into tears and struggled to complete his brief comments on Bishop O’Connell.

“Out of his love for God, he served this city for more than 40 years,” Gomez said.

“Every day he worked to show compassion to the poor, to the homeless, to the immigrant, and to all those living on society’s margins. He was a good priest and a good bishop and a man of peace, and we are very sad to lose him,” Gomez said.


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11 Comments

      • Brineyman, I’ll soon be expecting my housekeeper to show up at my door any day now. When I get the bill, I’ll be sending it off to my diocese and recommend everyone else do the same.

    • A number of priests have had housekeepers. My son in law’s mother did that at one time. I don’t think it’s especially unusual for a bishop to have help in housekeeping or yardwork. But I suppose this illustrates you have to be very careful about who you let into your home.

      • Mrscracker, a great many things aren’t unusual in the Church. Where should I begin? I’d recommend that if you don’t have one yourself, that you get one and send the bill off to your bishop. No doubt he’ll be quite receptive to the idea.

        • Deacon Edward, what I meant was that a rectory housekeeper was a pretty traditional thing back in the day and not unusual now where we live.
          I don’t see a problem if the late bishop needed help at home.

          • Please spare me but…
            #1. Yes, a housekeeper was not unusual in the days of our youth when, for instance, my parish had a rectory of FIVE priests, confessions frequently, visits to the parish school and neighborhood hospital daily, daily Masses at 6 AM, many Sunday Masses (we had an “upstairs church” AND a “downstairs church” where Masses were celebrated simultaneously. It made sense then that there was a housekeeper.
            #2. We are told that this was a very activitist bishop who kept busy with all sorts of social justice activities. He was in no way infirm. He was an able-bodied male. Many men still work at age 65 as they are still vibrant and robust. So it escapes me why this man could not throw a load of wash in the machine, change the bedsheets, run an occasional vacuum, clean the toilets and the shower once in awhile, and throw a burger on the grill.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m as sorry as the next guy to hear he was murdered but this is no excuse for submitting to a clericalism that smacks of an elitism that clergy, including bishops, cannot do their own housecleaning because they’re too busy doing God’s work. After all, making your bed in the morning is an act of humility and THAT is God’s work.

  1. Well, it seems like he was not a martyr for faith, but just another victim of urban American lawlessness which he helped to foster with his political advocacy. Apparently, he was murdered by a member of one the marginalized groups he championed to the detriment of society. As usual, to get a full account of the man, we must go to the foreign press – in this case the Irish Times, which describes his excellency as a supporter of the LGBTQ movement and women priests besides being a standard leftist on immigration, crime and all the other “social justice” causes. His murder was a terrible crime, and we should pray for his soul, but let’s not make him out to be something he wasn’t.

  2. The fact that he had a housekeeper, really is not a topic for conversation. So, what if he did! As a matter of fact, bringing it up, is causing scandal, which is a sin. Unfortunately, it brought his demise. Just Pray for the repose of his soul.

  3. Deacon Edward Peitler, I have only commented on social media one other time but your post compels me to do so. Unless you have inside information, how do you know that the Bishop did, “not throw a load of wash in the machine, change the bedsheets, run an occasional vacuum, clean the toilets and the shower once in awhile, and throw a burger on the grill?” I was a housekeeper for many years. I never did laundry, rarely made beds, and never grilled food. I worked maybe 2 hours a week to 16 hours for one family. I worked for some people that didn’t seem to be able to pay their bills but hired me. I guarantee if my husband a very able bodied man that is certainly not lazy was left to clean our house, I would wish he hired a housekeeper. Shame on you, if you don’t know exactly how much work this housekeeper did and you are blasting insults about the bishop. He might have only had her do minimum work and maybe to only give her the dignity of earning some money instead of a free handout. I don’t know anything about this housekeeping arrangement, so if you happen to know that what the bishop paid for was over the top then I apologize. If not, I cannot understand why it is wrong for a man that probably puts in more then full time hours to have a little help around the house. There is so much evil in this world it seems petty to make this a point to discredit a man that cannot even explain his actions.

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