The trial of Carlos Medina, who has been charged with the murder of Irish bishop David O'Connell in Los Angeles, has been adjourned until October.
“The preliminary hearing setting was continued to October 19,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told IrishCentral on Thursday.
A preliminary hearing in the murder trial commenced on August 10 and continued yesterday, August 16.
Medina, 61, has been charged with one count of murder and a special allegation that he personally used a firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.
On February 18, Bishop O'Connell, a native of Glanmire, Co Cork, was found shot in his bedroom at his home on the 1500 block of Janlu Avenue in Hacienda Heights by a deacon when he was late to show up for a meeting.
Following the murder, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the police had pursued Medina following a tip from the public that he had been acting strangely and claiming the bishop owed him money.
Medina's wife was O'Connell's housekeeper, while Medina had done work on the bishop's home as well.
“This was a brutal act of violence against a person who dedicated his life to making our neighborhoods safer, healthier and always serving with love and compassion," Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascó said in February while announcing the charges against Medina.
“As Catholics around Los Angeles and the nation start the holy season of Lent let us reflect on Bishop O’Connell’s life of service and dedication to those in greatest need of our care.
"Charging Mr. Medina will never repair the tremendous harm that was caused by this callous act, but it does take us one step closer to accountability.”
Medina plead not guilty to the charges against him in March. Superior Court Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian ordered that Medina remain in jail in lieu of $2 million bail.
O'Connell, who received a BA in Philosophy and English Literature from the University College Dublin in 1975, a Bachelor of Divinity from Maynooth College in 1977, and a Masters of Spirituality from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1987, earned a reputation as a "peacemaker" during his time in Los Angeles.
In March, thousands of people turned out for O'Connell's funeral in Los Angeles.
More recently, Bishop-elect Brian Nunes was assigned to the San Gabriel pastoral region, filling in the role left vacant by O'Connell.
"I’m moving into the region of the late Bishop O’Connell, who was so well loved," Nunes told Catholic News Agency.
"Given his own experiences, his personality, and his tenure in ministry, there is no way I’m going to ‘replace’ him.
“I do, however, want to continue, as best as I can, his efforts to constantly make Jesus present to individuals, parishes, and schools."