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Records sought in probe of nun's death

By Jennifer Buske
Sunday, November 21, 2010; T01

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to federal officials for information related to the investigation into Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano, an illegal immigrant charged with killing a nun and injuring two others in a drunken-driving accident.

The board requested copies Monday of all reports the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have relating to their investigation into why Martinelly-Montano remained in the United States despite having two previous drunken-driving convictions.

"We believe we have a right to the information and need it," said board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large). "The county has taken great pains, and at great expense, to identify illegal immigrants and hand them over to ICE. We find out then they released Montano even though they knew he was an illegal immigrant. . . . And they released him without informing the Prince William community or Prince William police."

Martinelly-Montano, 23, who entered the United States from Bolivia illegally at age 8, was allegedly driving drunk Aug. 1 in Bristow when his vehicle crashed into a car carrying three nuns. Sister Denise Mosier, 66, who was heading to a retreat at the Benedictine Sisters monastery, was killed.

Prince William officials are also requesting copies of all correspondence and reports concerning any department or division contacts with Martinelly-Montano. The request states that the local government has an "important interest" and concern in informing its citizens about the matter.

Stewart said federal officials have about a month to produce the requested documents. If not, he said, he would want to take the next step, which is to get a congressional subpoena. U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) has also requested the information.

Martinelly-Montano was indicted in September by a Prince William County grand jury on charges of felony murder, driving on a suspended license and maiming resulting from driving while intoxicated.

A senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said earlier this year that the results of an investigation by Homeland Security into why Martinelly-Montano went almost two years without a deportation hearing would not be released. The official had said the department does not want to make it public because of "law enforcement sensitivities."

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