The man accused of killing Cork-born Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell appeared in court again on Wednesday in preparation for trial in October.
Los Angeles handyman Carlos Medina (61) will next appear in Los Angeles Criminal Justice Center on October 19th, facing a single charge of premeditated murder. He denies the charge.
He is accused of entering the private home in the eastern LA suburb of Hacienda Heights of the popular cleric, known in east LA as “Bishop Dave”, and shooting him five times as he slept in his bed last February.
No motive has yet emerged for the killing. The bishop is still deeply mourned in the community where he was renowned as a peace-maker between factions.
He studied at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained as an associate pastor in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1979 by Archbishop Timothy Dalton, a future cardinal who was born in Ballingeary in Co Cork – 50 miles west of Brooklodge, where Bishop O’Connell was from.
Earlier this month the Los Angeles Diocese announced that Bishop O’Connell will be replaced by a well-known Los Angeles-born colleague, Brian Nunes.
Bishop-elect Nunes said he was well aware of the shoes he has to fill. “Given his experience, his personality and his tenure in ministry, there is no way I am going to ‘replace’ (Bishop Dave). I do, however, want to continue, as best as I can, his efforts to constantly make Jesus present to individuals, parishes and schools.”