Handyman, facing 35 years to life in prison if convicted for shooting death of Bishop O’Connell in Los Angeles, is seen for the first time along with his wife – the victim’s long term housekeeper
Handyman accused of shooting dead LA Bishop David O’Connell is shown for the first time along with his housekeeper wife
Carlos Medina Vallejo, 61, faces 35 years to life in prison if convicted
Auxiliary Bishop O’Connell, 69, of Los Angeles, was found dead in his bed from a single gunshot wound to the chest, on Saturday Feb 18
LA County DA George Gascón said Medina is charged with one count of murder
The suspect who is the husband of the bishop’s housekeeper Simona Salazar, 75, has a history of drug-taking and DUIs
Images of the handyman accused of murdering Bishop David O’Connell have surfaced for the first time. Carlos Medina Vallejo, aka Carlos Medina, is seen relaxing on the sofa with his wife, smiling broadly in a photograph with his extended family and cooking with a granddaughter.
Medina appeared in court Wednesday afternoon, and his arraignment was postponed to March 22.
LA County District Attorney George Gascón announced that Vallejo is charged with one count of murder with a special allegation that he personally used a firearm.
Vallejo, 61, the alleged killer, has a history of drug-taking and DUIs, but nothing in his past suggests that he is capable of the violence manifest in the attack leading to the death the 69-year-old high ranking Catholic clergyman.
Bishop O’Connell, 69, was was found dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest on Saturday.
Early Monday morning, the LA County Sheriff’s Department tweeted that they had conducted a SWAT operation on Kenwood Road in Torrance, a suburb of Los Angeles that butts on to neighboring Long Beach.
Later that day, Sheriff Robert Luna announced they had arrested Carlos Medina Vallejo who is the husband of O’Connell’s housekeeper. The suspect’s criminal record dates back to 1989 and includes multiple DUIs, as well as two meth busts – the most recent of which came in 2011.
Due to his penchant for hard drugs, he has repeatedly served time in the LA County Jail and spent years on probation in blocks of 30 to 60 months at a time.
Other punishments include 10 days spent working for the California Department for Transportation cleaning verges, several fines and participation in court-ordered drug and alcohol programs.
His last known brush with the law was in December 2016. Records show he was charged with driving without a valid license, registration or insurance. He was handed a $75 fine as a result.
On Wednesday the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department presented its case to prosecutors against Carlos Medina Vallejo in last weekend’s murder of Bishop David O’Connell.
Vallejo, the husband of the O’Connell’s housekeeper, remains jailed on $2 million bail following the his arrest on Monday.
Bishop O’Connell, who was shot in his bedroom in Hacienda Heights at around 1 p.m. Saturday, was found by his deacon, who paid a visit to his home after he failed to show up for an event that day,
Vallejo surrendered after a four hour-long standoff with Los Angeles SWAT at his home in Torrence on Monday.
The Sheriff’s Department seized two firearms from the suspect’s Torrance home and a navy Honda SUV that appears similar to a car captured leaving the bishop’s residence on surveillance footage shortly after the time of the murder.
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