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Jan 1, 2013 4:31 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Brother of Fugitive Suspect In Water Mill Nun Hit-And-Run To Be Sentenced January 8

Jan 2, 2013 10:19 AM

The younger brother of the man whom police believe struck and killed a Catholic nun in Water Mill this summer before fleeing the country could face six months to a year in prison when he is sentenced next week for lying to investigators about his brother’s whereabouts.

Miguel Ixpec-Chitay of Riverhead, whose exact age was unavailable, but who is in his 20s, was convicted on Wednesday, December 19, of lying to federal authorities about having been in touch with his brother, Carlos Armando Ixpec-Chitay, 30, in the days after a July 9 crash in which an SUV believed to be driven by the elder brother fatally struck Sister Jacqueline Walsh, 59, of Syosset, a Catholic nun walking alongside Rose Hill Road near her retreat house.

The jury reached its verdict after about four and a half hours of deliberation over two days, declaring Miguel Ixpec-Chitay guilty of a felony count of making a materially false statement to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents regarding phone calls made between him and his brother shortly after the crash.

Miguel’s sentencing is set for Tuesday, January 8, at 1 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Central Islip before Judge Denis R. Hurley.

He could be credited, however, for time already served, according to Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Lisa Costa. Miguel Ixpec-Chitay has been held at the Queens Detention Facility in Jamaica, Queens, a private facility that houses primarily pre-sentenced detainees on behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service, since his September arrest.

His older brother, meanwhile, remains at large.

This week, Chuck Walsh, a cousin who was extremely close to Sister Walsh—the two called each other “brother” and “sister” and spoke nearly every day—said he believes Miguel Ixpec-Chitay’s case will lead to Carlos Ixpec-Chitay’s capture, and discussed how the church community has already forgiven Carlos, his thoughts on the police investigation, as well as what Christmas was like without his beloved cousin this year.

A practicing Catholic at St. Edward Confessor Church in Syosset, where his late cousin was a pastoral associate, Mr. 
Walsh spoke on behalf of the church.

“Our whole goal here is, we want closure,” he said. “We recognize the fact that this was an accident. We are not viciously after Carlos to hang him by his feet. Our intention is for this man to come on his own. That would be ideal, and the fact that people recognize that this was an accident. The church community already forgave him. He could bring some dignity back into his life if he did this.”

He said he believes Miguel Ixpec-Chitay’s conviction will ultimately pave the way for the arrest of his brother, the fugitive. “People confess when they live with such guilt,” he said. “They just can’t take it anymore.”

He also spoke of understanding. “I’m not really a big fan of somebody lying to the federal agents, but I do understand that the kid was scared to death, and he was protecting his brother,” he said.

Mr. Walsh, 48, of Plainview, who sat in the front row during the first day of Miguel Ixpec-Chitay’s trial on December 17, said he left the courtroom with the impression that the federal investigators who interviewed Miguel Ixpec-Chitay stressed that he should not lie to them, but they did not tell him that if he told the truth he would be fine. If they had, Mr. Walsh said, they might have gotten the answer they wanted, plus some.

As for the national and perhaps international manhunt for Carlos Ixpec-Chitay, Mr. Walsh said he believes the police are doing the best they can. “I think they’re doing a better job than people think,” he said, noting that he and his church’s deacon, Jim Murphy, who has a law enforcement background, would talk often with Southampton Town Police detectives, who always had new information and a lot more information than has been publicly released.

He said he, like many others, felt the 11-day lag between the crash and the U.S. Marshals’ public release of the Carlos Ixpec-Chitay’s photo and identity “might have been too long,” but he ultimately commended the investigators for doing the best they could, erring on the side of caution and for getting close to nabbing the suspect.

Mr. Walsh said he and his cousin shared a unique bond. “She was probably one of the closest people in my life,” he said.

Sister Walsh had called just hours before she died—even though she wasn’t really supposed to talk to people while on a religious retreat—leaving a voicemail saying that she was going out for a walk. That was the last he heard from her.

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Is this guy going to be deported after he serves ihs time? SH Press doesn't indicate if he is an undocumented immigrant or not... let's hope he gets booted back to his country and leads us to his brother.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 4, 13 9:16 AM
You are no longer worth of my time
By 27dan (2854), Southampton on Jan 6, 13 11:17 AM
Thank you for the new article -- excellent reporting.

Wednesday January 9th will mark the 6th month since the accident.

Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.

By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 4, 13 1:09 PM
Today marks the 6th month.

Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.

The failure of the authorities to release the suspect's name and photo for 11 days still sticks in one's craw, as both illogical and unproductive. Did the driver's employer's status, and political connections, have anything to do with this delay?
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 9, 13 6:29 AM
withholding a suspects identity from the public has merits when the police dont want to alert the suspect that he has been identified, which may cause him to flee the jurisdiction. But announcing to the public that a suspect has been identified and NOT releasing this information to the media ia assinine. Im sure there were plenty of people who would have dropped a dime on this fool if they knew he was the one they were looking for
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on Jan 9, 13 6:45 AM
New article. Sentencing delayed to 1/24.

Ditto to CaptainSig about strong possibility that someone would have ratted out the driver right away.

There is more to this story than is being reported IMO.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 9, 13 2:14 PM
27 weeks later, and this heinous crime remains unsolved.

Rest in Peace, Sister Walsh.
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Jan 14, 13 3:03 PM