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Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 02/03/2012

Illegal immigrant sentenced to 20 years drunk-driving case

Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for an August 2010 drunk driving accident that killed a nun and badly hurt two others.

Martinelly-Montano, 24, had been convicted of felony murder during an October trial. He was driving drunk when he swerved his Subaru into a guardrail and then veered into the opposite lane on a slim, two-lane road in Bristow, Va., colliding with the nuns’ blue Toyota Corolla.
Carlos Martinelly-Montano is led into the courtroom, at the Prince William County Courthouse, in Manassas, VA, on Monday, October 31, 2011. (John Boal/News & Messenger)

The nuns, who belonged to the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, were on their way from Richmond to Bristow for an annual retreat. Sister Denise Mosier was killed. Sisters Charlotte Lange and Connie Ruth Lupton, both in their 70s, were badly hurt.

In court Friday, Martinelly-Montano said during his time in jail he has dedicated himself to God and the Bible and hopes to someday become a pastor. The sisters have said they show forgiveness.

“I know this has had an impact on you,” Prince William Circuit Court Judge Lon Edward Farris told Martinelly-Montano. “I know you’ve made changes and great strides, but society has got to be protected.”

Martinelly-Montano, originally from Bolivia, had twice been arrested on drunk driving charges before the crash and federal authorities had scheduled a deportation hearing.

The case prompted calls for stricter immigration enforcement.

Martinelly-Montano also pleaded guilty to five charges stemming from the incident: involuntary manslaughter, two counts of maiming while driving under the influence, driving on a revoked license and a third DUI offense within five years.

The charges carry a maximum of 70 years in prison.

This Post has been updated.

By  |  03:02 PM ET, 02/03/2012

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