Carlos Montano trial begins in crash that killed nun

Carlos Montano, center. (Photo: John Boal,

MANASSAS, Va. (AP, WJLA) - An illegal immigrant from Bolivia is on trial for the alleged murder of a Benedictine nun in Prince William County who was killed in a vehicle crash.

Prosecutors say Carlos Martinelly Montano was drunk and caused the fatal crash in Bristow that killed Sister Denise Mosier and injured two other nuns. Prosecutor Paul Ebert points to Montano's blood alcohol after the crash, which was 0.2. Montano was driving on a suspended license and had two previous DUI convictions.

Defense Attorney Dimitri Willis says Carlos Martinelly Montano never intended to kill anyone the morning of August 1, 2010, that he was out running errands when his car hit one with three nuns.

Montano accepted a plea deal for five of six charges, including involuntary manslaughter. That left him facing felony murder in trial today.

On Monday, the defense rested its case without presenting any witnesses.

At a hearing Friday, a judge said Martinelly Montano requested a bench trial.

Mosier's death prompted a wave of debate about enforcement of immigration laws. Martinelly Montano had twice before been convicted of drunken driving but was released from custody while awaiting deportation proceedings.